"It's compelling and deeply moving to witness such a visceral and inspiring force."
Mumford & Sons flags are flying high to welcome us through the entrance to the Bowl. It's a beautiful, clear and sunny evening despite the approaching storms, but ponchos are on hand just in case. Early arriving punters settle on the grassy hill and spread out across their picnic rugs while they soak up the indie-rock sounds of The Vaccines. Their catchy melodies and summery vibes are refreshing and nostalgic.
Everyone is up on their feet and dancing in no time to the non-stop energy of Future Islands. Frontman Samuel Herring mesmerises us with his showmanship as he continues to push the boundaries with his incredible bursts of growling vocal rasps and uncontrollable dance moves, like a man possessed. He repeatedly pounds his chest as he expresses every word with a fire exploding from deep within his soul, working up an incredible sweat.
Mumford & Sons grace us with their presence and immediately conjure up a highly energetic and powerful explosion of folk-rock. It doesn't take long for us to become overwhelmed by their rustic and organic sounds, that of eclectic instruments played with intense passion, as if their lives depend on every single note. The banjo, mandolin, cello and acoustic guitar intertwine with Marcus Mumford's captivating vocal tones to take us on a euphoric musical journey.
Fan favourite Little Lion Man strikes up as the band come to life and each member becomes one with their instrument. It's compelling and deeply moving to witness such a visceral and inspiring force. Mumford admits there's a bit of tension on stage as the band have been prepping for a big charity football game tomorrow against their tour mates The Vaccines. They channel their competitive nature into a climactic build-up of anthemic choruses.
Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter
There's a strong focus on material from their latest release, Wilder Mind. The two-hour-long set has a mixed pace, peaking with soaring finger-plucked riffs and foot-stomping beats and then rocking us ever so gently with sensitive and warm melodies. The uplifting Believe sees the Bowl light up with phone torches, like hundreds of stars in the sky.
As a cascade of sparklers fall from the stage backdrop we are confronted with the fact the end of the epic show is upon us, yet we hold out hope for an encore. We sing in unison to final track, The Wolf, howling far and wide across the venue to echo long into the night.