Fantastic Foreigners Dazzle: Mumford & Sons and The Middle East

Last week I headed over to Music Hall of Williamsburg to catch what turned out to be a truly awesome show — British headliners Mumford & Sons and Aussie openers The Middle East.

The room was already packed when The Middle East took the stage. Comprised of seven band members, this band is capable of such a huge, lush sound that is grand and quite beautiful. Their recorded stuff really does not do their live show justice. I was blown away by how absolutely lovely the songs sounded and the term “next big thing” instantly popped into my head as they played one gorgeous song after another.

Punctuated with the sounds of horns, accordions, keyboards, guitars, and drums the tunes soared through the air — songs like “Blood” and “I could see how folks who love bands like Arcade Fire or Polyphonic Spree would have a lot to like in this band. Truly music that deserves a big open field and thousands of people swaying to and fro. Don’t be surprised if you’re looking back on this post in about two years and exclaiming, “Dagnabbit! She was right!”

Headliners Mumford and Sons were a bit late getting to the stage (taking some extra time to get an old timey haircut perhaps?), but proved to be well worth the wait. With solid, jamming tunes, and introspective lyrics, the quartet was impressive.

Some hilarious inter-song banter by singer Marcus Mumford feeling like a fat Englishman while spending the earlier part of the day roaming around the natural habitat of Williamsburg hipsters wearing skinny jeans and Ray Ban sunglasses.
Continue reading “Fantastic Foreigners Dazzle: Mumford & Sons and The Middle East”

Band of the Day: The Middle East Comes to the USA

Right now the Australian band The Middle East are touring the United States for the very first time, hitching a ride with headliners Laura Marling (through May 11th) and Mumford and Sons (through June 10), ending with a spot at Bonnaroo.

The band back their ethereal, dreamy vocals with a myriad of instruments — from the folk guitar picking in their song “The Darkest Side” to cheery Sufjan Stevens-style trumpeting in “Blood”.

WATCH “Blood” by The Middle East:

If that charming little song didn’t spur you to learn more about them, perhaps this will. Their drummer Mike Haydon has been keeping a tour blog about their first time touring America and this little bit made me chuckle:

this was a taco bell attached to a kfc. UNEXPLAINED. i mean, why would you combine the two? this was disturbing. like it really got to me. a CHICKEN store…and a TACO store. why were they not just single stores?

As most Americans probably know, KFC and Taco Bell are owned by the same company (Yum Brands) and they often share a space. I LOVE that these Aussies are totally perplexed by the fact that tacos and fried chicken should co-exist. THIS IS ONE OF THE MANY BEAUTIFUL THINGS AMERICA HAS TO OFFER.

Now for sweet free MP3s:

DOWNLOAD: “Lonely” by The Middle East
DOWNLOAD: “Darkest Side” by The Middle East
DOWNLOAd: Blood” by The Middle East

Continue reading “Band of the Day: The Middle East Comes to the USA”