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Folk You Very Much

Mumford & Sons - Hollywood Bowl - November 12, 2012

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Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 8:57 AM
click to enlarge TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris

Mumford & Sons

Hollywood Bowl

11/12/12

See also: Our slideshow of the concert

It's been four years since Mumford & Sons played their first show in Los Angeles, and in that time the London-based quartet's career has skyrocketed. Since then the folk rockers have released two chart topping albums, been nominated for a slew of Grammys, and upgraded from playing the Hotel Cafe to the Hollywood Bowl.

click to enlarge TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris

Last night was their second show there in three days -- "The first night was business, tonight is pleasure," said Marcus Mumford. Backed by a three-piece horn section and an additional guitarist/fiddler, their sound was much fuller than on their record. They performed practically flawlessly -- including on "Timshel," the mostly a cappella tune off 2009's Sigh No More -- which was cool, but there's more to music than just playing instruments proficiently.

Most critics' biggest complaint about Mumford & Sons' latest album Babel is that each song sounds about the same, and as their nearly two-hour set dragged on one got the same feeling. There was passion in Mumford's eyes, but he stood stationary, strumming his guitar the same way for each track. Truth be told it felt more like business than pleasure.

As the set neared its end the band invited Dawes, their Saturday support, onto the stage to play "Awake My Soul," and finally the members loosened up a bit, garnering the energy emanating from their stage mates. But it didn't look like the foursome was really having fun until its last encore song. With Dawes the massive, makeshift band covered "With A Little Help From My Friends." Not only was it spot-on, but it felt like everyone was having fun.

Personal Bias: Everything sounds better at the Hollywood Bowl.

Crowd: Bundled up fans of Top 40 radio.

Set list below

See also: Our slideshow of the concert

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