REVIEW: New Zealand's first taste of indie folk-rock band Mumford and Sons in the flesh left fans hungry for more.
The four piece English band served up a musical treat for their debut in front of a Kiwi audience last night.
Auckland's Vector Arena was near packed to its 12,000 seat capacity with concert-goers clapping, dancing and singing along.
Marcus Mumford's characteristically gravelly voice induced delighted squeals from the crowd as he launched into ballad Lover's Eyes from the new album Babel.
The blended voices of Ben Lovett ( keyboards, accordion), "Country" Winston Marshall (banjo, guitar), and Ted Dwane (string bass, guitar) harmonised as the beat picked up with Mumford on guitar and kick drum.
The crowd was drawn to its feet with fast paced hit Little Lion Man, with some impressively quick strumming from Mumford.
The number was slowed down in parts for fans to sing along - "it was not your fault but mine, and it was your heart on the line, I really f****d it up this time, didn't I my dear?"
"The whole stand up thing applies for the whole night, so join in if you want," Lovett encouraged. "This is our first time in New Zealand, we just want to have fun."
But fans didn't really need encouraging as they continued to clap and stamp to Roll Away Your Stone from debut album Sigh No More.
Strings of lights hung from the stage to the back of the auditorium created a beautiful outdoor, country fair feel.
And a backdrop picture of horses added to the theme, with the audience taken on an imaginary journey through fields of wild grass for Irish jig-like numbers such as Below My Feet.
Lovett's energy was second to none, swaying over his keyboard so hard that he knocked over the microphone.
The boys were joined by supporters on the fiddle, trombone and trumpet - each instrument a delightful addition to the set. The fiddle and clanging cymbals particularly added to the drama of moody number Thistle and Weeds.
It was hyperactive Dust Bowl Dance, complete with flashing lights and chaotic dance moves, which proved a fun finale to the hour and 20 minute set.
The band had only left the stage when it was called back for not one but three encore items. Popular folk-rock hit The Cave saw everyone out of their seats, singing until the end.
"We apologise for not coming here sooner, but thank you for supporting us," Lovett farewelled. "We look forward to seeing you again."
Suffice to say the feeling was mutual.
- © Fairfax NZ News