All the people, so many people. They all go hand in hand. Hand in hand through their parklife. Know what I mean?
That's about 15,000 people crammed into Pier A Park in Hoboken (motto: perfecting the drunken hook-up since 1978) for Mumford & Sons' first show in New Jersey ever and their kick-off show for their Gentleman of the Road tour. I hadn't see this many white people in Hudson Co. since the Devils Stanley Cup victory parade in 2003.
Forgive me for being rude. Let me introduce myself to new readers who came upon this site for via social and search. My name is Chris, proprietor of this space since 2005. I write about music, some you've heard, others you haven't. My history with Mumford & Sons is long and a little complicated. One of the codes of music snobbery is catching onto a band early on, seeing them in a small venue and then complaining about them when they become popular and mainstream. So back in 2009, I caught Mumford & Sons a few times during CMJ, and eventually Marcus started stalking me.
Between the last time I saw them in 2010 at the TLA in Philly and now, they are, without a doubt, one of the most popular bands in the world. They've been nominated numerous times for Grammys in major catagories, millions of people own a copy of Sigh No More, they've been sighted as one the reasons new folk/Americana has been revitialized as a vibrant music genre and my man dumped Laura Marling and married Carey Mulligan.
Which leads me to the band's second album, Babel, which comes out on Glassnote Records on Sept. 25. What do you think it will be about? You think, maybe, some of that awkward and public romance will seep into the music? They did play a few new songs off the album for the first time, but I remember they road tested a few new songs back in 2010.
For the show itself, I was a bit worried. There tends to be a let down when you see a band in small clubs and then before you know, they are 15,000 band wagoners screaming out lyrics to Little Lion Man. Once I got to the park and the rain stopped, I told myself that I had to leave my snobbery credials at Maxwell's for the night, enjoy the night for what it is -- a celebration of summer, good music, good people and vintage typefaces on banners and t-shirts.
You know what? It was an awesome show. Yeah, I missed the old days when they played in front of 500 people, but playing on such a large stage has its advantages as well -- huge sound, a grand landscape and a feeling that this is an event. Those good-time stopping parts of The Cave are still potent. When the fireworks came on at the end, I said, "Gee if only they played DURING the fireworks, then that would have been nice."
A band like Mumford & Sons can't stay hidden for long. Their music is honest, heartfelt and people connect to it on a emotional and visceral level. More than anything, they are a tremendous live act. Just look at the sweat pouring off of Marcus, and that was only for the third song. They take serious pride in their live show, which is why they were put off recording for so long because the road was calling. Good music deserves to be heard by the masses who've been numbed on corporate-produced mainstream pop. Mumford & Sons obviously care about their craft and their audience. They took a risk with having it at a plae that hasn't never hosted something of this scale. Also, bottom line, and I'll have to name drop, Ben, Ted, Winston and my man, all sweet guys.
This was a special night for the band and the city of Hoboken, because it beats the hell out of me that nobody has tried organizing a concert at Pier A Park before. It's the perfect location, better than the dreadful Liberty State Park where we sloshed through All-Points West. If they held it there, you could have called the band MUDford & Sons. Yeeeeeeeee
You have Midtown Manhattan to the left, downtown and Jersey City skylight to right. It takes two minutes to walk from the Path to the park. Easy in, easy out. Now, Arcade Fire, get your ass to Jersey, you haven't played here. You, Pier A Park, 2012. Make it so.
As you were aware, it rained and drizzled throughout the day, but eventually stopped by the time Dawes were throwing down. The end result was a lovely rainbow and gorgeous orange and purple sunset that the band could look out upon.
As far as I can tell, the night went smoothly. The usual first world complaints were overheard, like epic lines to get drinks. Yeah, you know, too bad that Hoboken doesn't have bars within walking distance, like anywhere. It's like not you can walk a block and stumble upon a bar. Just impossible to find liquor in that town.
As for Dawes, who Marcus joking refurred to as a jerks, I'm surprised people knew who they were. On the other hand, when Taylor asked is anybody didn't know who they were, they was an audible YES.
In any event, I was too busy socializing to shoot them, but here are pictures from 2010.