In many ways, it’s fitting that Oxegen 2010 and the World Cup both come to a close within a few hours of each other. Both have had their good and bad moments, seen a few surprises and found some of the big names coming up short. Neither have been a vintage year but while the climax in South Africa was an ugly affair, at least one part of the Oxegen site was filled with nothing but good vibes. Less than a year ago, Mumford & Sons were playing Dublin’s dingy Academy 2 basement. Now, well now this is a completely different affair. Coming up against Eminem and The Prodigy they may have been but you’d never know it and if State is pleasantly surprised by the ecstatic reaction they receive, it’s nothing compared to the look of the band’s faces when they take to the stage.
It’s all hugely heart warming, an unassuming band who have rocketed skywards based on little more than a record made up of lovely songs played on whatever instruments came to hand. Yet this simple approach has struck a massive chord. This is not an audience who are just here for the singles, roaring back the words to each and every song at a volume that could surely have been heard over at the main stage (where they might just have got wind of the “fuck Eminem” chant too). It provides one of those great communal moments that has been all too rare this weekend.
The band haven’t particularly changed what they do, aside from adding a shiny new backdrop and an equally shiny brass section for a couple of numbers, but then nor do they need to. They sing beautifully and kick up a storm on the likes of ‘Roll Away The Stone’ and an epic ‘Little Lion Man’, propelled solely by Marcus Mumford’s kick drum. Oh, and they bring on some welly wearing members of the Irish rugby team as their hype men but that’s about it.
Photo via Oxegen.ie.