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The Blue & Gray Press | June 18, 2018

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Mumford & Sons Perform at Ntelos Pavilion

By LEIGH WILLIAMS

If you don’t know who Mumford & Sons are, you should probably “Roll Away Your Stone” and come out of “The Cave” you’ve been living in.

This London-born band has burst onto the music scene and achieved great success due to their exceptional talent.

On Aug. 9 fans descended upon the Ntelos Wireless Pavilion in Portsmouth, VA, to see Mumford & Sons play, along with opening acts Dawes and Aaron Embry.

The audience, although diverse in age, was universally enthusiastic. Teens, college students and forty-somethings alike united for a night in the name of music.

While the band could have chosen to play at the larger Farm Bureau Live Amphitheater in Virginia Beach and rake in a larger profit, they instead chose the more intimate setting of the Ntelos Pavilion.

Situated on the waterfront, with a breeze blowing off the water, the venue could not have been more ideal for a summer evening concert.

Aaron Embrey opened for the band with songs from his debut album “California,” followed by California-based band Dawes. They played an impressive set of their popular songs, such as “Time Spent in Los Angeles” and “When My Time Comes”.

Fans were also treated to some collaboration among all three bands, which was welcomed by cheers and applause. Dawes was especially impressive due to the ease with which he joined Mumford to sing “Awake My Soul.” His seamless integration into the band brought a new, fresh feel to the song.

Mumford & Sons hit the stage to resounding cheers, opening the show with “Lover’s Eyes,” immediately followed by the hit “Little Lion Man.”

The band also offered a taste of some songs from their upcoming album “Babel,” due to be released on Sept. 24. It looks to be a delicious follow-up to their debut album, “Sigh No More.”  As bassist Ted Dwane said of the new release in the Rolling Stone, “The road has rubbed off on us. It’s full of aliveness.”

The band members themselves were full of the same energy. Marcus Mumford’s gentle teasing of Dwane’s shyness was met with loving “aww’s” from the audience.

They were also proud to inform fans of Ireland’s newest Olympic achievement: their first gold medal. This announcement was met with a roar of support from the inebriated audience.

Listening to this group was an experience akin to coming home. Full of emotion, both painful and loving, their songs resonated with a feeling of comfort and understanding.

“I always feel I’m surprised by the quality of a show when I enjoy it so much, but of course I was taken aback by just how good they sounded live,” said Meagan Hoffman, a senior at Clemson University. “[I] loved the show.”

Unlike many bands, Mumford & Sons claims to be most at home when they’re on the road.

According to their website biography, touring is an exciting endeavor for the group. The only thing that could bring them home to England was recording their second album.

Although the band’s tour will soon take them back to London, their love of touring makes it a safe bet that they’ll be back stateside again soon.