Photos and a different kind of review of Mumford And Sons in Phoenix Park

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mumford-and-sons-phoenix-park-dublin-6Mumford And Sons played Phoenix Park last night, July 14th, but this is not the kind of review you’d expect from such a gig. We will tell you the story of those who enjoy the concert from outside the venue.

Of course we wanted to review Mumford and Sons in Phoenix Park. We also wanted to take some nice photos, as we do with most Dublin gigs, but we didn’t get a press pass or a photo-pass this time.

We were bummed, as you can imagine, so we decided to go anyway and see what it’s like to witness Mumford and Sons from the other side of the fence. We imagined we would find an empty Phoenix Park with the music blasting from somewhere in the distance. To our surprise, Phoenix Park was full of Mumford And Sons fans sitting on the grass, just outside. There were hundreds of people who, just like us, didn’t have a ticket for the show.

There were picnic blankets, wellies and beer, as you would expect from a crowd ready for an outdoor gig.

We wanted to see why the other people were outside, like us, so we interviewed a few of them. Three young girls, resting behind a big old tree, told us they wanted to go but they couldn’t afford the tickets. A middle aged couple, sitting quietly on their picnic blanket with some food and drinks, told us they do this all the time. “We live nearby and we always do this when the weather is nice. We like the band and wanted to see them, but we think we’re too old for concerts.”

A few meters away, alone in the tall grass, a lad confessed he forgot about the gig, so he could’t find any tickets, since it was a sold out concert, and he came to the park confident that outside is not that bad. Two girls overheard our discussion and came closer to encourage us. “I’ve done this before at a Croke Park gig and ended up inside after a while. It might happen again. You never know”, said one of them.

mumford-and-sons-phoenix-park-dublin-4One of the two screens was partially visible from where we were standing, but it was turned off. The massive roar of the crowd told us the concert was about to start. The opening track, “Babel” revealed that the sound would be good enough even from where we were standing. “Little Lion Man”, the second track, got the crowd, both inside and outside, singing along for the first time. The energy of the show was too much for two girls who decided to try their chances and break in. The joy was short lived as they were quickly escorted out by two vigilant gardai.

As the show progressed, more and more people started dancing and singing along to the well-known Mumford and Sons tunes.

Mumford and Sons were probably playing their 11th or 12th song when people started leaving the concert. After discussing with a few of them we found out they were just making sure they beat the post-show rush to the taxis.

After a few more songs, a prolonged silence told us the band left the stage. Soon after, we could hear those inside calling the band back to the stage. We were getting ready to do our part and shout “One more tune”, but we thought we were probably a bit too far for it to count. :) Luckily, the band returned for a three-song encore. The first of the three songs was “Lovers’ eyes”, followed by stadium anthem “The Cave”. So, the thousands of fans that left the park missed probably the best songs of the set. On the other hand, the concert was so loud that people on a quiet balcony in Blackrock could hear it.

For the grand finale, Mumford and Sons invited some of the other artists that supported them back to the stage for a song that went straight to the hearts of the people in the crowd. Steve Earl’s “Galway Girl” left everyone walking out with big smiles on their faces as something that sounded like fireworks (the trees were blocking the view) marked the end of the three concerts hosted by Phoenix Park this summer.

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Lucy Ivan

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