Live Review : Mumford & Sons | Gentlemen Of The Road | The Domain, Sydney – November 14, 2015

Photos and review by Meghan Player
Mumford & Sons  | Gentlemen Of The Road | The Domain, Sydney

It’s been a long-time between drinks for Australian fans of Mumford & Sons, and with today’s Gentlemen of the Road stopover rolling into town, the festival has pulled out some of the most impressive acts of recent times for one big day of music.

Thankfully, the less than ideal weather does little to dampen the early punters enthusiasm, with Brisbane’s, Art of Sleeping first up on the bill.

Having known about these guys for a while, and consequently being intrigued by their sound, it was enjoyable to finally see them in such a grand setting.

The bands multi-layered sound provides the perfect setting for today’s festival, and is met with a wave a swaying bodies, soaking up the glimpses of sun.

Meg Mac follows Art of Sleeping’s hypnotic sound, with a subdued, yet sultry performance of her own. Whilst this is the first time I have experienced her music live – the unwavering melody that seems to haunt the Domain is undeniably cathartic, and is certainly appreciated by those fans in the crowd today.

The Jungle Giants amp the rock volume up a notch, seeming to feed and thrive off the energy of the growing crowd, whilst The Vaccines deliver a one-two-punch attitude with their high-octane set.

Switching the eclectic sound of today’s lineup, Jake Bugg croons his way through an acoustic set of songs, accompanied by only a microphone and guitar. What strikes me most about his performance is how well beyond his years Bugg can seem; his music seeming to transcend his youth, and craft an effortlessly simple, yet wholly endearing story. If there was any ever doubt of Bugg’s talent, today would have certainly put those thoughts to rest.

Personally speaking, my favourite new discovery (yes, I’m well aware I’m late to the party on this one) is Future Islands. While their initial sound doesn’t hit me at first, it’s what the band do onstage that keeps you interested.

Samuel T Herring ducks and weaves, kicks and screams and, like a snake, striking when you least expect – making for an exciting and unpredictable set.

However, as the rain continues to wash in and out, the anticipation has been building for headliners, Mumford & Sons; and they do not disappoint.

In the last year, Mumford & Sons have ditched their folk-rock beginnings in favour of solid rock; and while each new track is met with warm applause from the crowd, the energy during older tracks (Little Lion Man, The Cave, I Will Wait) threatens to almost explode into oblivion.

What strikes me the most is how much the band have expanded their sound and performance in the last few years – and all for the better. The band is tight, unapologetic and ultimately, one hell of a good time.

Touchingly, the band pay tribute to those lost at the Bataclan in Paris overnight: but it also provides a much-needed reminder that it’s times like these that we really need music. To express the words that we cannot find, lighten the darkest times and unite people under one banner.

And tonight has certainly flown that banner high.

Event: Gentlemen Of The Road
Artists: Mumford & Sons, The Vaccines, Meg Mac, The Jungle Giants, Jake Bugg, Future Islands, Art of Sleeping
Venue: The Domain, Sydney
Date: November 14, 2015

Photos and review by Meghan Player
Click here for photos of the event
Mumford & Sons  | Gentlemen Of The Road | The Domain, Sydney