Review by Malorie Janasek

Mumford & Sons fans in L.A. are having the best weekend ever. On Saturday night, the group rocked out at the Hollywood Bowl and returned on Monday night for a second show.

Some even luckier fans got to see an intimate performance last night at the 1920s-themed gem, The Belasco, located in downtown Los Angeles. This special show wasn’t open to just anyone. Hosted by The Artists Den and sponsored by Citi, tickets could not be purchased – you had to win them or receive them through your artist den membership. The show was also filmed for an upcoming episode of Live from the Artists Den, which will be shown on Starz.

As luck would have it, the CT team was able to score tickets into The Belasco last night, and our up-close experience was more than sensational: it was mind-blowing.

Upon entering the venue, one couldn’t help but feel delightfully overtaken and consumed by the unforgettable theater. The historic space is breathtaking. The venue has three fully accessible lit bars, and a VIP mezzanine featuring 24 booths of multi-tiered stadium-style seating. At its core is a towering domed ceiling with customizable 3-D light mapping, as well as Southern California’s largest and most powerful sound system.

Even with the best sound and technology available at their hands, half-way through the show, the band told us they would like to perform without it. Shocked and awed, we all sat there, quietly, as they slowly moved away from their mics. They unplugged all of the amps, speakers, etc., and asked everyone to put their phones away. The foursome then took seats at the front of the stage; the place was dead silent. The first strike of the guitar electrified goosebumps over our bodies as we heard the opening chords of “Timshel” begin to resound. For over six minutes, everyone in the entire concert hall heard them playing, 100% live and acoustic. It was an incredible moment.

Other noteworthy points from the show that we’d like to share:

We’re quite positive that Marcus Mumford’s voice is actually better live than on record. His gentle-yet-rustic voice caressed our ears as it echoed throughout the hall. He was absolutely amazing.

The band impressed fans by playing a 16-song set, with hits from both albums. High points of the night – the guys slowing down the chorus of “Little Lion Men,” followed later by spirited cover of Neil Young’s “Dance Dance Dance” before closing the evening with a fiery rendition of “The Cave” from the classic, multi-platinum debut Sigh No More.

For having one of the biggest selling albums, the guys are humble as hell. Success aside, you can tell these guys are just stoked to be where they are, playing music and conquering a dream, together. At one point, Marcus messed up the chords on his guitar as he was starting one of their songs. Instead of getting flustered, he just laughed it off, adding ‘Why does it feel so serious? This is fun music!’

Even after leaving The Belasco, we couldn’t stop talking about the show – the unique atmosphere, the intimacy; the exceptional talent that had been just steps away from us.

Driving away, Mumford & Sons continued to charm our ears, with Babel’s ‘but I’ll ride home laughing, look at me now’ blasting from the speakers.

It was a night we’ll never forget.


Live from the Artists Den: Mumford & Sons First Look