With the Kohl Center just wrapping up its schedule of playing host to the Wisconsin basketball and men’s hockey teams, Saturday night allowed the venue a change of pace. Mumford and Sons took over the arena, promoting their new album “Delta.

People of all ages attended, ranging from children accompanied by their parents to those over 60. The stage sat in the middle of the floor with room around all sides so that general admission viewers could fully surround the band, which they did. It was a different type of energy than I had ever felt in that space. Instead of gathering to watch the Badgers take on a foe, we were all gathering to share in a musical experience.

Consisting of lead vocalist and guitarist Marcus Mumford, keyboardist Ben Lovett, guitarist Winston Marshall and bassist Ted Dwane, Mumford and Sons has continued to define their alternative sound for over a decade.

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The crowd eagerly awaited the opener together, even doing the wave right before the opener, Cat Power, took the stage. This anticipation, which I have come to solely associate with sporting events, made me feel united with the rest of the audience.  As Cat Power began to play, I felt myself listening with the crowd like I do at sporting events, rather than just as an individual.

Mumford and Sons’ new album, “Delta,” was released in November 2018 and consists of 14 songs, one of which they opened with. “Guiding Light” got the crowd tapping their feet and in a more energetic mood and the band quickly became comfortable moving around the stage. Their overlapping vocals and tempo changes filled the crowd with energy. Mumford set a clear tone for the rest of the show by telling the audience “if you find yourself in a seat, it doesn’t mean you have to use it.”

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I hadn’t listened to Mumford and Sons since I was a junior in high school, so when I heard they were coming to Madison, I thought it would be a good opportunity for some nostalgia. Luckily for me, they performed some songs off their earlier albums which I, and everyone else in the crowd, very clearly knew word for word. It truly felt like a Kohl Center event when they played “Little Lion Man”, “The Cave” and “Lover of the Light.” The ground shook just like Camp Randall after the third quarter as everyone moved along with the beat.

Their lighting and stage presence was truly breathtaking. That, combined with the pure talent the group holds, made this one of the best live performances I’ve seen. Lighting around the inside of the stage set a backdrop for the band from whatever angle you had the pleasure of viewing and the lighting from above subtly added a feeling of intimacy and emotion to their songs.

This is the longest tour the group has embarked on, but they showed no signs of fatigue. Each song showed true and honest emotion, and when weighing the value of music, that’s what truly matters.