Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mumford & Me

Yesterday was the first concert I have ever attended that was sponsored by mustaches.  (And might I say, well done mustachios, well done.)

Tickets and Mustaches we scored at the Gates

Don and I went to see the first Gentlemen of the Road Stopover, in Portland.  Since we knew there were going to be 12,000+ people at this event, and had little desire to be smooshed into a crowd of 12,000 sweating bodies in August, we elected to arrive a little late.  So at 2:30 we arrived by train (that's right, train) at the festival on the Eastern Prom.  (There was NO parking in Portland's east end, so we parked by the Civic Center and walked to the Narrow Gauge Railway where they were offering free train rides up the hill to the concert.  Score!)  Since we were late there wasn't much of a line to get in.  Having read all the info released prior to the show about what to bring, and what not to bring we thought we were all set.  Wrong.  Apparently even UNOPENED brand new bottles of water were not allowed.  So we had to dump our water at the gate and were told to refill when we got inside.  Stupid.  Seriously stupid.  Especially since there was ONE water refill station for the said 12,000+ people at the show.  Uggggh.  Fortunately we settled ourselves near the Beer tent where they were selling expensive, yet delicious, beer and water.  We stayed hydrated.

Portland Stopover

The Gentlemen

There were two stages at the bottom of the hill and since we sat at the very top of the hill we had an AMAZING view of the harbor and both stages.  The people singing on the stages looked like ants, but you could hear them just fine, and that was really all that mattered.  While our spots at the back may not have given us great views of the performers, we still were able to see and we were in the shade and there were less people, and we were near the beer, so really, it all worked out.

View from our spot-yup, we were FAR away!

There were so many people, you can't even see half of them in these pictures, it was crazy!

The music was really good.  I hadn't heard any of the bands before, aside from the headlining Mumford & Sons and the last minute addition Dropkick Murphys.  I was pretty confident that the bands would all be of a similar style and they were, which made it really enjoyable.  Despite being quite far from the stages, it was really nice to listen to and watch.  It was a long afternoon, but with the help of some beer and people watching, even Don agreed that it passed pretty quickly.

The Dropkick Murphys went on stage for a couple of songs right before Mumford & Sons and they were REALLY good.  Unfortunately their sound was a little on the quiet side, so it was kind of hard to hear.  Fortunately we were planning on seeing them after Mumford & Sons at the State Theater, so we weren't too upset.

Dropkick Murphys (my camera was on SUPER zoom here!)

Then Mumford & Sons took the stage and they were really, really good.  Really good.  They played a lot from their current cd and several from the new one that comes out next month.  (Can't wait for that one, judging by the songs they played for us at the show it's going to be amazing!)  Great sound, great performers, great crowd, just great!  They were really happy to be playing in Portland and were planning on spending several days in the city, which I think is pretty cool for a pretty big time band like that.  They really wanted everyone there to support the city and go out and enjoy it after the show.  (Good news for Portland since there were 12,000 people hanging onto their every word!)


They were so good!

A Blurry picture of us while Mumford & Sons were performing.  Not very flattering...

After Mumford's encore, they invited all the other bands that had performed to come up and sing with them for one last song.  (Spoiler:  It was The Band's The Weight)  Pretty damn cool!  Then there were fireworks over the water, again, damn cool.  We had actually just walked out of the venue when they started the fireworks, so we saw them from the street, and there were a whole bunch of kids running around the neighborhood loving the fireworks and loving that there wasn't any traffic, that was pretty sweet to watch too.  :)

We beelined it down Congress Street in search of food.  (Like water, food involved outrageously long lines and we weren't allowed to bring ANYTHING in to snack on.  So we went without.  Stupid Rule.)  We snagged a couple of sandwiches at Bingas quickly and were able to get out of there just as they were filling up with starving concert goers.

By this point, we were exhausted.  We are not partiers by nature and the long day of events left us pretty much exhausted by 10:30.  BUT, we had tickets to the Dropkick Murphys show that started at 10:30.  So off we went!  The Murphys didn't actually go onstage until nearly 11:30.  And I'll admit it, Don and I were practically asleep in our seats.  Yup, we're old fuddy-duddys.  Once they started playing we both perked up and enjoyed the first half of their set.  They are so good, and so energetic.  And it's not often you can say you saw someone totally rock out on the banjo...but last night, I did!

Unfortunately, we couldn't make it through the whole show.  We were both exhausted, I had a POUNDING headache, and we had an hour long drive home to look forward to.  Reluctantly we left the show and dragged our exhausted butts home.  I think we were both asleep within 3 minutes of our heads hitting the pillows....zzzzzzz.

What an amazing day though!  The bands were great and I just couldn't get over how perfect the Eastern Prom worked for the concert!  I REALLY hope Portland takes a hint and plans more shows like that!  And despite learning that we are perhaps not the type to live up the night life to its fullest, I had a really great day with my husband celebrating our anniversary a few days early.  Seven years of marriage, seven hours of music...nice.

And I got a fake mustache.  Sweet....

Anniversary Celebration!!

(and yes we were near the port-a-potties, fortunately there was plenty of cigarette and weed smoke to cover the smell...and give us a slight buzz....)

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