I’ve now been to two shows at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, NJ this summer, and it’s rained at both! However, a little rain (and a thunderstorm delay) couldn’t put a damper on the amazing show that Mumford & Sons put on last night. It’s my second time seeing them. The first was a few years ago, when they were first getting popular on the national scene. Today, they are one of the biggest bands out there, and put on a show that reflected how far they’ve come in a few short years.
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Kevin Garrett opened the show. Born in Pittsburgh (which resulted in some friendly booing from the Philadelphia crowd), Kevin made sure the crowd knew he was now based in Brooklyn (which didn’t sit any better with the Philly people). Kevin released his debut EP in April of 2015, and his latest album – False Hope – was released in February of 2017. Kevin also co-wrote and produced Beyonce’s “Pray You Catch Me”, and was nominated for a Grammy for that song. Download False Hope here.
Unfortunately, the “shore” traffic heading out of Philadelphia to New Jersey made us late for our dinner before the show. That, in turn, made us late to get to the venue and resulted in us parking in a lot that was about a mile walk from the gates. So, we missed the first half of opener Kevin Garrett’s set. For the songs we were able to catch, Kevin has a strong voice that reminds me a lot of Sam Smith. His music also has that same soulful sound to it that Sam’s has.
For the last few songs, a couple of the guys from Mumford & Sons came out to join Kevin on stage. Marcus Mumford is definitely a big fan of Kevin’s.
Kevin Garrett is opening for Mumford & Sons on these couple of shows that they are doing this summer. Kevin’s full tour schedule, including some dates in Canada at the end of June, can be found on his website at www.kevingarrettmusic.com.
Mumford & Sons
The first time I saw Mumford & Sons, they also played the BB&T Pavilion, but it was a winter show and the enclosed pavilion only held about 7,000 people. It was right around the time that “Little Lion Man” came out and was getting non-stop play on alternative radio stations around the country.
Flash forward about 5 years or so to today and my second time seeing them in concert, and they played to a sold out crowd of 25,000 plus, including a packed lawn that weathered mud, rain and thunderstorms.
Mumford & Sons is made up of Marcus Mumford (lead vocals, guitar, drums), Ben Lovett (vocals, keyboard), Winston Marshall (vocals, guitar, banjo), and Ted Dwane (vocals, bass guitar, double bass). The band formed in 2007 in London, and quickly established themselves with their unique “banjo” sound. As mentioned above, they hit the national music scene when their single “Little Lion Man” exploded on radio. They are extremely talented musicians, who slightly re-invent themselves with every new album they release.
The show started out strong with opener “Snake Eyes”, and then straight into popular hits and crowd favorites “Little Lion Man” and “Babel”. After then playing “Wilder Mind” and starting “White Blank Page”, the music abruptly stopped and Marcus announced that a strong thunderstorm was entering the area and that the show was going to be temporarily stopped.
After about a 45-minute delay, the band announced that they were coming back on stage to finish up the show in a few minutes. To open back up the set, Marcus got behind the drums and they did a fantastic version of “Lover of the Light” (one of my personal favorites).
Throughout the rest of the show, Marcus thanked the crowd for sticking around throughout the delay, and promised to still give us a full set, which they did.
One of the highlights for the show for me, was their beautiful rendition of “Ghosts That We Knew” into “Awake My Soul” into “The Cave”. Their vocals were amazing, and it’s so nice to hear a band that is able to pull off a quiet song like “Ghosts” and move into a powerful song like “Awake” and a toe tapper like “Cave”.
After playing 15 songs, the band went off stage for a very short encore break (they were clearly trying to keep things moving as much as possible after the long storm delay). The opened their encore set with “If I Say”, and then all 4 of the guys moved to the front and center of the stage around one microphone to do an acoustic version of “Cold Arms” and “Sister”.
Probably one of the best moments for the Philadelphia crowd was what came next. After going back to their spots on the stage and their instruments, the band went into a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia”. As soon as the crowd realized what was happening, there was a loud refrain of people shouting “Bruuuuceee!”. At the end of the song, Marcus told the crowd “we just had to do that one”.
The set came to an end with so much energy while the band played “I Will Wait” and “The Wolf”. Some cool pyrotechnics (fireworks and flames!) added to the whole crescendo of the night!
Even though it was another rainy night in Camden, Mumford & Sons made the whole crowd forget the miserable weather, and gave us all a night to remember!
You can download the Wilder Mind album here.
Mumford & Sons opened a few nights for U2’s The Joshua Tree tour earlier this spring. They are just playing a handful of headlining shows this summer, including the show last night. They’ll be hitting a few festivals this summer, and then going over to Europe in late summer. You can get information on when you can catch them live (which I highly recommend) on their website at www.mumfordandsons.com.