words and photos by bill bodkin…
The Venue & The Vibe: Mumford & Sons performed in the Pier A section of Sinatra Park in the iconic city of Hoboken, N.J. The birthplace of baseball and Frank Sinatra was absolutely electric, with people ranging from the bridge and tunnel posse just returning from work to hipsters of all ages to sweaty, bearded photographers all converging on the majestic ‘Boken waterfront. As the rains moved away from the concert grounds, a beautifully red sky, highlighted by faint rainbows made for the perfect backdrop to this concert, a concert which I believe people will be talking about for years. It’s not everyday one of the biggest bands in the world rolls into the city to perform outdoors. The grassy concert field was jam-packed with thousands — smiles on all faces, Brooklyn beer being drunk, food truck cuisine being consumed ravenously. It was a perfect setting.
The Americana soul band Dawes took the stage prior to Mumford. The band, who’s killed it many a time at ‘Boken’s local concert hall Maxwell’s, really had the crowd going the entire night. Usually with concerts of this size and magnitude, the opening band usually doesn’t get met with a lot of love and/or a lot of people knowing any words to their songs. This was not the case with Dawes. The lyrically rich band had many a concertgoer swaying and singing through their entire set. Lead singer Taylor Goldsmith not only sported some impressive pipes, but this man can really shred too. Dawes made a lot of fans, this writer included, on the show. Definitely a band worth checking out.
MUMFORD & SONS
We’ve all heard Mumford & Sons before. But have you really listened to the band? I’ve heard the band a million times on terrestrial radio with their hits “The Cave” and “Little Lion Man” but actually watching them and listening to them live is a completely different experience. Maybe it was the thousands of people in attendance, maybe it was because it was the first show of their new tour — whatever the reason may be, Mumford & Sons delivered an absolutely dynamite performance. It was alive, jubilant, played with raucous gusto and heart, it was the perfect show for an outdoor summer concert. And the fans — let’s say the reaction they got made it seem like the Lads from Liverpool were performing during their heyday. How so? Well, standing in the photo pit, I was nearly deafened by the high pitch screams, squeals, professions of love and proposals of marriage before. These women wanted to dedicate their lives to the band. And this love for the band, exuded throughout the crowd. Okay, not everyone wanted to marry the band, but the genuine affection and love the fans have Mumford & Sons radiated throughout the venue and may have inspired the band to play that much harder. And that love spread to me as well — I’ve always enjoyed the band, but having seen them live, throw them into my Top 25 of all-time, I love these guys, I am now a lifelong fan.