Mumford & Sons perform at Forest Hills reopening
Mumford & Sons band member Marcus Mumford performs on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 at the West Side Tennis Club in the Forest Hills neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK (AP) — Mumford & Sons were in the tennis spirit at the reopening of the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in Queens.
The Grammy-winning British rockers performed a sold-out concert Wednesday for 16,000 fans at the stadium's West Side Tennis Club, which hosted the U.S. Open until 1978. Near the end of their set, the foursome played tennis onstage — using a racket at times and a guitar and banjo at others. They also threw balls to fans in the crowd.
Mumford & Sons played the first concert at the 90-year-old stadium, where acts from Jimi Hendrix to the Beatles to the Rolling Stones performed. It was the first show at the historic venue in more than 20 years.
Mumford & Sons band members, from left, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford, Country Winston and Ted Dwane perform on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 at the West Side Tennis Club in the Forest Hills neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Mumford & Sons electrified the crowd — even when it rained lightly — playing the well-known rock hits "Little Lion Man," ''I Will Wait" and "The Cave," as well as other songs from their two multiplatinum albums.
"Yes, Forest Hills, Queens, New York. We just can't believe you all came. This is amazing," keyboardist Ben Lovett said. "We were like, 'Are you sure you can invite 17,000 people to a tennis court?' It hasn't happened in a long time."
The venue's prime ended when the Open moved 3 miles away to Flushing Meadows, and its days as a music venue — where Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan also performed — faded amid complaints from neighbors about noise, crowds and cars parking on residential streets.