This past Good Friday morning, 600 tickets were released for a surprise show in Toronto, scheduled for that same evening. Mumford & Sons played their newest album, “Wilder Mind” live for the first time.
All but one song from Mumford & Sons’ third studio album was unveiled for the crowd — and only for the crowd — as all attendees were required to check their phones at the door. While this was done to prevent a premature release of their music via audio and video recordings taken by the members in the crowd, it also added a sentimental value to the night.
Concerts in the modern era live on forever through photos as well as audio or visual recordings taken on phones, which are then circulated on fans’ social media as a badge of attendance. Additionally, most concerts are often recorded professionally for a live album release, as a tribute to the true talent of a band. However, imagine if concerts were to eliminate the ability of those in attendance to record or document the show! It certainly increases the value of actually purchasing a ticket and being able to participate in a unique musical event, adding a somewhat romantic and nostalgic value to concerts.
Certainly those few hundred in Toronto on Friday will never forget the once in a lifetime experience of witnessing “Wilder Mind” before the masses.
“Believe,” the frontline single from the upcoming album, is a drastic departure from the strong folk-driven sound of Mumford & Sons’ first two studio albums. This album most definitely marks the turning point in the band’s artistic evolution, a point that usually indicates the future success and longevity of a band. The reception from such a transformation is evident from their album’s placing on the top charts and the demand for live performances. Perhaps surprising to critics, listeners have received Mumford and Sons’ newfound electric sound with admiration and a desire for more. A true test of talent for a group of musicians is adaptability – the ability to produce music that is different from previous recordings, but still laced with an authenticity unique to the band.
Mumford & Sons have yet to disappoint listeners, whether it be their original banjo-laid ballads, or their recently unveiled rock and roll edginess. Apart from those fortunate enough to have experienced “Wilder Mind” personally this past weekend in Toronto, the rest of us are eagerly awaiting the full album release in May, which cannot come soon enough.