We start out with the video showing a black screen longer than you normally see one, to the point that I’m thinking “wow, this is a seriously minimalist video”. Then we get the image of a craggy rock wall alongside an unknown highway (a statement about the House of Representatives?), followed by the words “The Road to Red Rocks”. That could mean anything from a cheap Western movie to a porn site on the web. I have no idea what’s about to happen.
Then we’re suddenly at a concert venue, and it doesn’t take long to realize that Red Rocks refers to that outdoor amphitheater thing in Colorado, a way cool place that I’ve always wanted to visit. (Not that I’m trying to make this all about me, but somehow I usually manage to do so in the end, so I might as well get there right off the bat.)
I’m hoping this doesn’t mean this is one of those videos where we just watch the band play on the stage, because although concert videos can be fun for the dedicated fan, they suck mightily when you’re trying to write snarky comments in a blog post. There’s nothing funny about people just standing there and singing. I need me some cray-cray people running around in a nightclub while wearing bling and having sex with supermodels. That I can work with.
Anyway, the band members kick off the song, with all 74 of them banging on their guitars and banjos and… other instruments with strings, I was never a whiz in music class. (And I had no idea that Mumford had so many sons, there are people all over that stage.) One of them even hoists what looks like a bass violin (whatever it is, it’s big) over his head, so we’ll have to assume that energy-drink consumption took place in the green room.
Then we hit a slow part of the song, which allows the cameraman to feel safe enough to give us close-ups of the folks doing the singing. (Hey, that one guy is pretty hot. I’m suddenly a little bit more invested in the goings-on.) After we’ve met and become friends with everybody, the camera then turns to the surroundings, letting us know that, yep, this place is truly surrounded by red rocks. Big-ass rocks. As in, if one of these things fell on your house, an entire zip code would be wiped out.
We focus back on the stage, where it basically becomes clear that everybody in the band gets to sing at least bits of the song. That’s nice. This keeps people from becoming bitter and writing tell-all books at a really inappropriate time. Then we go back to a wide-shot of the audience, with the rocks and everything, and I have to pause the video for a minute to check out travel packages on the web because this place is definitely now on my bucket list. Mmm hmm.
I come back to the band launching into another fast part of the song, where they’re all plucking strings like Thanksgiving dinner is late and Granny’s pissed that nobody’s prepped the turkey. A shot of the audience reveals that nearly all of them are jumping up and down with their hands in the air. This is refreshing and shows that true fans really appreciate good music. Unlike the audiences at “pre-packaged band-of-the-day” concerts, where 10% of the audience is even bothering to look at the stage and the other 90% are trying to smoke weed without getting caught.
Slow part of the song again, with the close-ups of strumming and sweat. These guys are really intense, burning with their talent. Or maybe it’s just those enormous lights on the sides of the stage, soaking the men in tremendous wattage, making it look like the final scenes of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, when we learned that Richard Dreyfuss wasn’t crazy after all, despite the thing with the mashed potatoes.
More shots of the audience members , bouncing with a frenzy like they’re on the Ellen DeGeneres show and they just found free toaster ovens under their seats.
Slow tempo again, with the heartfelt and emotional vocals, and if you listen really closely, you can hear several folks in the audience apparently having orgasms over the poetry and beauty of it all. Or maybe that’s just Nicki Minaj in the manager’s office, making a fuss about not getting to be a “featured artist” on one of the band’s singles. Not sure.
We eventually get back to another upbeat part of the song, and the audience once again goes into a frenzy of passion and bouncing. (Well, at least the audience members who haven’t already climaxed and are now smoking a cigarette and gazing up at the stars, all fuzzy and warm.) It’s quite pleasing to see so many people really invested in a band, but part of me also wishes people in America could get this excited about participating in the election process, and maybe we wouldn’t have so many zombies in Washington.
Then we launch into the hyper-aggressive section of the song, where the band essentially transforms to another plane of existence as they pluck and pound and emote, sweat flying and vocals harmonizing. This allows the audience members who haven’t yet clawed the ceiling with their toenails to do so, in a rousing Big O that surely registered on the Richter scale at a nearby monitoring facility. (Even Nicki Minaj, still ranting in the manager’s office, suddenly feels butterfly wings in a special place.)
The video ends with the band thanking the audience. The audience responds by throwing their phone numbers, panties, and paternity test results at the stage…
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