Back You are here: Home Reviews Live Review: Mumford & Sons, The Vaccines, Meg Mac @ The Riverstage, 07.11.15

Live Review: Mumford & Sons, The Vaccines, Meg Mac @ The Riverstage, 07.11.15

Music is something that is genuinely incorporated in our lives and sometimes we don’t give it as much appreciation as necessary. Although, there are also times, when you literally feel like your soul is breaking out of the chest and the sound becomes visible without any drugs taken. That is the time, when you know that you and music is something much more than usual escape from the world, boredom and all that crap, that is the time you know you are united. This weekend Meg Mac, The Vaccines and especially Mumford and Sons made us feel special and connected as hell.

Frankly speaking, Saturday weather certainly made us all question whether the whole thing is on or not, but then, well, everyone just screwed the weather! Who cares if you’re about to be blown away like Dorothy from Kansas, when this all is happening with sick music playing? That’s what probably every single person of the packed Riverstage was thinking, while coming to the gig and screaming internally from happiness. Meanwhile, the sky turned red and it felt like this is all Mumfords’ work, nothing could stop them! As well as nothing could stop us, happy people, already there, buzzing in excitement from the starting Meg Mac set. Who could even imagine THAT line-up? The alliance of awesomeness made in Heaven, totally.  

One of the greatest things is when all artists go together just like cookies and milk, coffee and cigarettes, Tom and Jerry, there’s literally no need for the ‘warm-up’ thing. In the moment, when the bittersweet mysterious darkness of Meg Mac exploded as a huge piece of joy, it was obvious that there’s no time given for monotonically nodding your head in rhythm of music. She made it pretty clear that she is there, walking dreamily on stage to grab all your possible attention and make you love her if you already don’t. There is indeed something, when she is smoothly moving around the stage and playing with her powerful voice. As if she carries her own special world everywhere in a void surrounding her and generously shares with anyone who wishes to see things differently. We definitely should’ve known better that there’s no way of going back from loving this mysterious dreamer, pulling anything from soul to R&B, groovy rock to pop, remaining effortlessly perfect and captivating. The one, who’s easily pulling the hardest notes with no effort at all and goes from low to high in a flash speed. Absolutely nothing to say, when you get completely charmed by her absolute bangers Never Be and Known Better…

It’s well known that Australians love to travel, though we don’t get much chance to explore places we seriously want to explore. Nonsense! If we want something, we wish for it…and it comes to see us itself, that is how cool we are. Seems like Aussies wished for Britain extremely hard, so that Mumfords would bring purely British, crazy, making-you-sweat kind of act like The Vaccines. Surely, some were not at all familiar with this sick bunch of musos, but does it really matter? They erupted on Riverstage as a tsunami of some sonic britrock-punk mix, topped with undeniable sexiness and the “no fucks given” attitude. For such little allotted time, they showed us their good old ones and rocking new tunes from the ‘English Graffiti’ album. More electronic, sonic-like touch on Vaccines’ new album brings out only the best things in Justin’s vocals and bands’ instrumental game. Fresh changes to melodies along with the true Britrock vocals connect in a blissful union, leaving us with a satisfaction from still same chaotic vibe, yet in a brand new direction. With all honesty, it did feel like guys wrote the album, keeping in mind how ‘oh-my-godable’ it’s going to sound on stage.

Justin’s voice is some one one of a hell adaptable, wild and versatile instrument and it doesn’t matter whether he’s one second away from growling or looses himself in slow, lulling melodies. Blending slowly, yet powerfully into the crazy groovy guitar riffs, he easily pulls the highest notes, not forgetting about the shadowy roaring shades and then explodes into an insane punk-rock performance, pushing all his self to the limits. But only if it was just Justin, the whole band manages to work in a delightful chaotic harmony, getting together drum beats with badass guitars, piano and groovy bass together, making you feel yourself in some rad and super special London bar, where everything goes with some madness on top.

When you’re talking about Mumford and Sons, it’s hard to put words in proper sentences, especially after you see them live. There’s some unique type of music that turn your living-breathing, rationally thinking self into an amorous idiot with overwhelming feeling of happiness inside and this is where Mumfords totally belong in the music scene.

First things first, they got us all excited even before getting on stage: two impressive drum kits made everything clear. Everybody knows such staggering acts like Foo Fighters with all-mighty Dave Grohl on every instrument possible, Motley Crüe and their drum-stunts, and looks like Mumford & Sons are about to become next iconic act, where everyone plays everything and spreads joy and excitement all over everyone. Without any delay, band got on stage and the crowd figured their first song in a moment – it’s in the eyes, I can tell, you will always be danger. Right, ‘Snake Eyes’, and there couldn’t be better choice, they stunned us immediately with soft and strong Marcus’ vocals, calling for millions of ‘I love you, Marcus’, exquisite guitars and striking drums, not to mention fantastic cello, violin and winds…and banjo! After needlessly introducing themselves, they broke into ‘I Will Wait’ and whole Riverstage joined them in the unison, singing I will wait, I will wait for you, although, everyone already got what was waiting for: spectacular performance. Mixing and merging effortless game of vocals with instruments, getting that sweet folk-rock sound, no wonder why Mumfords can proudly brag about their fans: they have something for everyone.

Every single song was accompanied by crowd singing and the certain feeling of unity, family didn’t leave until the end and, actually, is still present. Instrumental parts were beyond description, in these moments, probably even the farthest rows could see the music, the sound, see the feelings in the air. It’s not an exaggeration, not al all, but Mumfords do really know how to put together their setlist: with ‘Believe’ somewhat in the middle of the show, they literally grabbed our souls and made them go full “Futterwacken” (fyi, Alice in Wonderland reference). In such moments, you experience something extremely far from normal definition of happiness, it’s totally beyond that. As if our souls were guitar strings, Mumfords were heartlessly playing, but actually no one was against it. After the session of all-together-singing of ‘Believe’ and ‘Tompkins Square Park’, guys performed flawless acoustic version of ‘Cold Arms’, which apparently crowd had guessed even before they’ve even started singing.

Literally keeping the audience at the edge of the last breath with final forever-hits ‘Only Love’, ‘Little Lion Man’ and ‘Ditmas’, they were pushing themselves to the limit as well. After a splendid drum solo, Marcus lost himself in extreme drum crash…We don’t blame you, Marcus, with all the overwhelmed feelings we would’ve done the same. We wanted to. 

Now back to the earlier mentioned Dave Grohl. We all know how this guy loves his fans, but recently he found one really strong competitor in this love – Marcus Mumford. Singing four songs for encore and finishing with everybody’s favourite ‘The Wolf’, Mumfords also managed to pull a get-a-random-fan-out-of-the-audience trick! ‘Do you know AC/DC? Do you know ‘Shook Me All Night Long’?” – that was the exact moment of ‘say no more, Marcus, you are a perfect human-being and good things should happen to you’. So, to sum the madness up…Brisbanite Harry almost didn’t fuck up the trick and with awesome help of the band did shook us hard!

Thank you for making Brisbane see the music, Mumfords.

See all the fantastic photos here

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