I saw Mumford & Sons in concert four weeks ago and, blessed as I am with my mother’s memory, I’m already starting to forget. I’m not a concert-goer. No band or group or duo or person has ever moved me enough to see them live (at least not in the last few years). Until Mumford. Don’t know what it is. Maybe the voice. Maybe the man. Maybe the combination. Maybe the music. (Despite singing along at the top of my lungs, their intricate lyrics and hidden meanings are lost on me and I don’t usually know what it is I’m singing about.) (Please don’t tell Marcus I said that.)
Whatever it is, I love him. I mean, them. Obviously I mean them as the whole band is awesome, but really I just want Marcus Mumford to sing for me on command and then maybe do unspeakable things to me in private.
But I digress. Here is everything I remember about the concert (because I forget everything and blogging is nothing if not a way to keep my memories alive).
It was Saturday, June 24, 2017.
At The Joint. In the Hard Rock Hotel. In Vegas.
Where it was 112 degrees.
We spent $150 on a buffet at Caesar’s Palace the morning of the concert. Which was wasted on my Manfriend and I as neither of us eat seafood and I’m convinced that’s where you get your money’s worth.
Stuffed to the point of bursting, we walked 2 miles in 112 DEGREES to the Hard Rock to scope out the venue. All tickets were “general admission” and “standing room only.” If a line was going to form, I was going to be at the front of it.
The doors opened at 7. The concert started at 8. We were told they would allow people to line up at 6. Someone else then told us 5.
We went back to our hotel to throw up, shower and get ready and got back to the Hard Rock at 4. Just in case.
Security told us we had to at least look like we were doing something other than waiting to wait so we walked back and forth a few times.
At 4:30, the official line formed.
Periodically this chick security guard (and a major force to be reckoned with) would walk back and forth to explain the rules. You know, the basics. No pushing. No shoving. No drugs. No weapons. The young people behind us were super critical, but at 34-years-old-almost-35, I really appreciate rules.
We stood in line for almost 3 hours and it was TOTALLY WORTH IT. When we finally got inside the venue, I about peed my pants when I saw how close we were to the stage.
And, when I say close, I mean WE WERE 10 FEET AWAY FROM INAPPROPRIATELY TOUCHING MARCUS MUMFORD.
At 8, people walked on stage. They called it an opening act, but I don’t know who it was and don’t ask me what they were doing up there. All I could think about was how maybe Mumford wasn’t worth it because OH MY GOD IT’S HOT. There were so many people and we were practically on top of each other. At one point, I could feel a drop of sweat slide down my back. Also, I could feel the arm of the dude next to me pressed shoulder-to-wrist up against mine. Gross.
But he wasn’t moving and neither was I.
Jason said, don’t worry, when the band gets on stage, you’ll forget all about it. But, in the midst of my miserableness, I wasn’t convinced.
Despite not knowing each other, the crowd acted as a close-knit family or sorts. Mumford was bringing us together. People were sharing stories of other Mumford concerts and I quickly realized I was amongst die-hards.
I saw more than one person with a tattoo of the band’s logo. (Although, I’m still not convinced it was the band’s logo and not actually the tour logo, but who knows.) (Even Google isn’t totally clear on this.)
Jason was right. When Mumford finally came out, I forgot all about my discomforts.
The crowd (myself included) went nuts. We were so loud. Cheering. Singing. Not getting enough.
But, super-duper honesty time? I was expecting more than just singing. They hardly spoke to us at all.
They seemed tired. Or sad. I’m not sure which. (Maybe Marcus needed a hug. Maybe I should’ve given him one.)
They performed the next night at a festival in southern California (which would have been way closer to home, but I wanted the intimate setting The Joint provided). Jason’s co-worker went. She’s seen them live 5 times already (not fair) and said the same thing. They weren’t themselves.
Don’t get me wrong. They sounded amazing live. It was incredible to see them and see them so close. But I wanted the Mumford that sang at the Grammys back in 2011 and fucking rocked out hard with a look of pure joy on their faces like they knew they had tapped into something so fucking precious and right. (Which is exactly the same look I had on my face as I watched them.)
Also? I wanted the Mumford that took one look at me and fell madly in love. Where was that Mumford?
The concert only lasted minutes. At least, that’s what it felt like. I can hardly remember now what songs they sang, but I know I sang along to every single one.
After, I grabbed Manfriend’s hand and said, please, can we just go sit somewhere quite for a minute? Because holy crap. The people. The heat. The noise.
We found a bar around the corner that was blessedly empty and surprisingly quiet (except, of course, for the ever constant jingle-jangle of the casino). We drank overpriced beer and dissected the concert to within an inch of its life and, once we had taken the edge off, we were ready to party.
Originally, when Manfriend told me about his co-worker (the bitch who attends all the M&S concerts?), my reaction had been one of disdain. I mean, why would you see the same group over and over again? Aren’t there any others you’d like to see live? But now I get it. ‘Cause if Manfriend and my finances would allow it, I’d quit my job and follow Mumford around the world (mostly in hopes of him doing those unspeakable things to me, but I suppose I’d go just for the music, too).