Ah, it’s Monday again. I’m coming off a relaxing and rewarding weekend as well as a transcendent music experience last Thursday, which proves you find blog inspiration in the most unlikely events.
Last spring, as you may recall, I became unemployed. At the time, I was in the midst of a three week dog/house sitting gig for two friends who have impeccable taste in music, especially in the bluegrass/Americana/folk/foot-stomping genres. On the first day after it happened, in the midst of a whirlwind emotion, I cracked open a breakfast beer and popped in the CD that was sitting atop their sound system – Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons. It was a perfect example of the right album for the right emotional state – I was instantly swept up in the songs of hopelessness, confession, yearning, and redemption.
Inevitably, the band blew up. The boys started playing the big festivals, the singles were popping up on Top 40 radio stations, the album charted at #2 in February of this year, and the boys even sang with Dylan at the Grammys. Somewhere during that trajectory, I tuned out. I still enjoyed the band but as I worked through my unemployed state of mind, I outgrew the music.
Until last Thursday, that is. Last week was a scorcher in the District and I wasn’t too thrilled at the prospect of baking in 100 degree heat to hear a band play the single album I’d heard many times before. I hadn’t slept well the night before and had troubles, both my own and others, on my mind. When we arrived at Merriweather Post Pavilion, I was hoping to be able to sweat and unwind in peace. Instead, as soon as we settled in for the open act, the skies opened up.
This was not a light drizzle and a quick deluge followed by sunny skies. This was 20 minutes of a never-ending water ride, with waves of icy cold rain pounding down in every possible direction. We had no choice but to sit there and let the rains wash over us. Rain quickly turned to hail – which led me to quip that I was “in hail” – and eventually abated to a light rain. Also abated? All my anxieties and frustrations and fears and worries from the last couple weeks. I don’t put a lot of stock into religious experiences, but there’s something to be said for the act of baptism.
While we briefly considered bailing on the show at the height of the storm, I’m relieved we stuck it out because when Mumford & Sons came on, it was incredible. I felt like I was hearing each song for the first time and although so much has changed in the last year, there was comfort in the familiar words that meant so much during a difficult time for me.
The boys put on an amazing show and although they played several new songs (each better than the next!), I figured I’d leave you with one of my old favorite songs. Happy Monday!
Winter Winds (Live on WXPN) – Mumford & Sons