The English folk-rockers drew a capacity crowd Saturday night, for a 15-song set that lasted just over an hour. The short-but-sweet performance included the Billboard-charting hits “I Will Wait,” “Little Lion Man” “Lover of the Light” and “Believe.” A few takeaways …
1. Marcus Mumford is a man of many talents. From strumming away on as many as five different guitars, a banjo, and a mandolin to hammering on the drums, he wore multiple hats while also contributing leading vocals to every song. The 30-year-old dictated the vibe, with the crowd’s energy reaching highs during the emphatically sung choruses of “I Will Wait” and “Little Lion Man” and staying mellow for slower, lesser-known tracks like “Ghosts That We Knew” and “White Blank Page.”
2. And a man of few words. Apart from thanking the Vegas crowd, introducing three musicians in his seven-man band and asking “How’s everybody doing tonight?” Mumford did little direct communicating, choosing instead to stick to the music.
3. Switching out so many instruments takes time. Audible pauses of up to a minute were frequent throughout the show, as the group traded cellos and banjos for guitars, moved instruments around, and, in Marcus Mumford’s case, walked from a drum set at the rear of the stage to the front. Those gaps in the action, most prevalent between “Thompkins Square Park” and “Believe” and between “The Cave” and “Ditmas,” interrupted the concert’s flow and temporarily disengaged the crowd.
4. Not all shows need an encore. Though Saturday’s deserved one, Mumford and Sons’ emphatic rendition of “I Will Wait” proved to be their last song of the night. As soon as the band walked offstage, the lights turned on and piped-in music filled the hall, confirming the band was indeed finished.
5. Opener Kevin Garrett is a unique talent. The 26-year-old was the night’s unsung hero, warming up the already-full Joint with a soulful 10-song set lasting 40 minutes. The Pittsburgh-based singer-songwriter, whose writing career includes “Pray You Catch Me,” the leadoff track from Beyoncé’s Lemonade, explored relationships and loss with his songs “Coloring,” “Control” and “Pushing Away.” Standing primarily at his keyboard, Garrett thanked the Vegas crowd several times during his first performance here.