(This article is about the Spring 2019 European Mumford & Sons/Gang of Youths tour. We have a separate article previewing their Fall US & Mexico tour dates together.)
Gang of Youths just finished an almost-month-long stint as the opening act for Mumford & Sons on their Delta Tour 2019 across Europe. By all accounts, it was a huge success — worthy of a look back at how it played out.
Together, they played 16 shows in just under a month. It started April 25 in Lisbon and ended this past Tuesday, May 21, in Stockholm. The tour traveled to 12 different countries — importantly, five of those were countries where Gang of Youths had never played (Portugal, Italy, Austria, Luxembourg and Sweden). That’s super helpful in terms of introducing the band to new audiences.
Like most support acts, Gang of Youths had a limited window of time for the band’s set each night. It seemed to be about 45-50 minutes, which is pretty standard for an opening act (at least in my years of seeing concerts).
As best we can tell, Gang of Youths made only one change in its 7-song set throughout the tour. That happened on the second night of the tour, April 27 in Barcelona. For that show, they dropped “Fear And Trembling” as the first song and began instead with “What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?” The last song that night was “The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows,” which hadn’t been played at all during the first show two days earlier in Lisbon. From that point on, it appears that GOY played the same set each night:
- What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?
- The Heart Is A Muscle
- Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane
- Go Farther In Lightness
- Let Me Down Easy
- The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows
But that wasn’t all Gang of Youths played. In what was an incredibly cool and generous move, Mumford & Sons invited GOY to come on stage during their encore at every show. Together, they played a remarkable cover of “Blood” by Australia’s The Middle East. Here’s the version they did on May 5 in Basel, Switzerland:
What made this really cool for Gang of Youths was that it guaranteed the entire crowd of Mumford fans saw them play — including the fans who, intentionally or not, didn’t arrive early enough to catch GOY’s own set.
There’s no way to know the full vibe in an arena from night to night, so when it comes to gauging fan reactions to the tour and GOY’s opening act slot, we’re kinda forced to rely on what we find on social media. And much like last year’s Foo Fighters tour, it seems like Gang of Youths made a lot of new fans over the past month.
One other cool thing that’s worth mentioning: It seems from far away like the two bands really hit it off on this tour. There are the obvious signs like the two bands being very complementary toward each other on Twitter (and other social media posts). When the tour ended, Mumford & Sons thanked its fans and made sure to include a thanks to the “brilliant” Gang of Youths.
GOY was even more friendly at the end of the tour, posting its gratitude to the “beautiful bastards” in Mumford & Sons.
Beyond that, what caught me by surprise the most was the footage in the beginning of this video from Cologne, where the two bands (and some crew, I’m guessing) apparently got together for a game of football/soccer in their down time!
I don’t know … I might be reading too much into that, but in my 30 years of following U2 and a variety of other bands that I’ve loved, I don’t recall ever seeing a scene like that. And that’s why I think it’s really cool. Maybe it’s a sign of some kind of mutual friendship/admiration society? If so, it would be the icing on the cake of what appears to have been a really successful tour.
(Top photo and “Blood” video by Bas Jensen for DeepestSighs.com)