Mumford and Sons - Desert Sky Pavilion - 6/5/2013

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Melissa Fossum
Mumford and Sons

Mumford and Sons (See the complete slideshow here)
Desert Sky Pavilion
June 5, 2013

Love 'em or hate 'em, Mumford and Sons' popularity continues to grow. Last night's sold-out show at Desert Sky Pavilion puts the band in a league with some of the Valley's other huge indie shows from previous years--but was Mumford and Sons nearly as good as Radiohead or Arcade Fire?

Desert Sky Pavilion was quite the different scene from the band performing in a Tempe parking lot with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes and Old Crow Medicine Show for the Railroad Revival Tour. I hear the set-up was a bit of a mess, but it seems like most issues were sorted out last night (aside from parking, anyway).

Some guests reported waiting up to three hours to find a parking spot; I overheard security panicking about fans moving cones and creating spots of their own. The vibe inside Desert Sky Pavilion was quite different. The dapper indie crowd filled the lawn section almost immediately and lounged on chairs and beach blankets to enjoy the sounds on a day that was a little too hot.

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Melissa Fossum
Michael Kiwanuka

The traffic jam folks missed out on an opening set from England's Michael Kiwanuka, who played a gorgeous folk set with his backing band. Kiwanuka's love of Jimi Hendrix wasn't limited to his Electric Lady Studios t-shirt; the band ended up giving one of Hendrix's songs the melodic treatment. (Read More: Michael Kiwanuka Wants to Keep the Vintage Music He Loves Alive)

Fans eagerly waited for Mumford and Sons, although rumors were circulating that they'd go on late thanks to the traffic jam fiasco. In the end they took the stage at a prompt 9:05 and opened with "Babel," immediately bringing fans to their feet to sing along.

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Melissa Fossum
Mumford and Sons

The core four members of Mumford and Sons were joined by three trumpeters and two violinists for "Winter Winds," making the song sound richer with the added instrumentation. The audience politely sang along until "Little Lion Man," where they erupted into a chorus of cheers and enthusiastically danced and clapped along.

The band sounded best whenever it focused on vocal harmonies, which was the case for songs like "Below My Feet," "Broken Crown," and the majority of the encore.


Location Info

Map

Ak-Chin Pavilion

2121 N. 83rd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

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6 comments
kipkip30
kipkip30

The speakers facing the lawn were not on for over half of the show. It had nothing to do with them being a folk band, Desert Sky Pavilion, but nice try. Next time, try turning the speakers ON. Very disappointing, because from what I could hear (which wasn't much) the band was on fire.

catlaw98
catlaw98

I think there were two concerts last night - the one for the people up front and the one for those of us on the lawn. On the lawn, most of the songs could not be heard. Also, the first two songs of the encore were completely inaudible. 

Big disappointment. I love the band and had been waiting for this show for quite a while. 

hek8
hek8

I find this review very disappointing and untruthful. I agree that the parking and heat were horrendous but to say that you were stuck between band lovers and band haters is inaccurate. The truth is that the show was sold out. Having 20,000 people attend. The lawn area was beyond crowded and the concert couldn't be heard by thousands. Why would you show up to a concert with a band you hate? I believe everyone there last night were Mumford and sons lovers, and the uproar was from disappointment of not being able to hear the band. I've commented to desert sky pavilions on the matter and they blamed the band and the fact that the music was folk. Not sure if you even went to the show Melissa, from your review, which shouldn't be biased, it sounds like you didn't.

Marie Martin Wolf
Marie Martin Wolf

Traffic was an issue for sure. They could have used police & security controlling the traffic flow. But Mumford doesn't disappoint. They sound better in person that on the radio. A very talented group and if you get a chance to see them live, go! 5 star performance!

Jared Pflaster
Jared Pflaster

It would have been amazing if I could have heard it. The entire back half of the lawn could barely hear the music. Desert Sky dropped the ball on all fronts on this one. From poor traffic control to absolutely no organization to the parking and the cherry on top of this pile of crap was the awful sound system. I was very excited for this show for a long time, but I will not be back for any other shows at Desert Sky.

getmeouttahere
getmeouttahere

@Jared Pflaster Ditto. Whose bright idea was it to book Mumford at this venue anyhow?  Unless you were privileged to be in the high-dollar seats up front, you couldn't hear shit. Several people sitting around us left midway through and we left before the encores. Very, very disappointing. They should have done a 2- or 3-night stand of shows at Comerica or even the Marquee. No matter how popular they are, the type of music Mumford and Sons plays is best suited for smaller, intimate venues. They simply do not work in a 20,000-seat outdoor arena meant for loud rock and country shows with lots of lights and pyro. If they had to do an arena show, it should have been at US Airways or Jobing arena. At least then maybe everyone could have heard them!

As for the parking and traffic...I have been to about a dozen shows at Desert Sky, and the parking and traffic situation has been a clusterfuck every single time. Between that and the debacle that was last night's show, I am done with Desert Sky Pavilion. Never again.

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