The ascendency of English folk revivalists Mumford & Sons to sold-out-arena status is certainly a curiosity, but also part of a pop trend that has elevated roots bands like the Avett Brothers and the Lumineers. But underneath the rousing, hootenanny choruses, sprightly banjo picking, and melodies that have attracted Mumford's faithful is a grim, gray earnestness concerned with Hell, the Devil, Belief (all with caps), and frequent kneeling in apparent hope of revelation. Marcus Mumford shouts energetically about it all on his quartet's second album, Babel. But the fundamental humorlessness that characterizes Mumford's songs suggests a hollow core, where blind religious faith substitutes for gritty substance amid pleasant enough music. Fellow English bands the Vaccines and Bear's Den will open.
Wed., Sept. 4, 7 p.m., 2013