Gentlemen's Road Trip (part two)

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_This is a continuation of my previous post... _

Nate's show was great, of course though, I may be a little biased. It's always awesome to see these shows from back stage and see first hand at the amount of work that goes on by everyone. Especially at an event as big as this was. Watching the "roadie" (who was Nathan Meese, who's brother plays drums for Nataniel Rateliff & the Fairchildren) run back and forth switching guitars around, and tuning them. The stage crew shuffling the previous band and the next band's equipment around. The stage manager keeping everyone in line. Watching the band interact during and between the songs. Certainly quite a bit of work going on all around.

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After a bit of relaxing, we heard this massive volume of music coming from the main stage and headed to check it out. Turns out it was Gogol Bordello, a "Gypsy Punk" band. This group had so much energy emitting from the stage that you were nearly wore out just watching them. To me, they sounded quite a bit like System of a Down but, much less metal and more gypsy (violin, accordian, etc...). Although, listening to their studio recordings they have quite the different sound than live.

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And then it was the main act's turn at the stage. I haven't listened to much of Mumford & Sons stuff previously but, was told that they put on a great show. I wasn't disappointed. They are very engaging with the crowd and the music is excellent. And hearing the full crowd sing the songs back at the band was wild. It's one thing to be in the middle of the crowd and a part of the singing, it's totally different when ~15,000 people are singing in your direction.

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The final song they played for the encore was With A Little Help from My Friends where members of all the other bands came up on stage and sang along. It was the perfect end to the day.

After that, we hung out in the artists area, enjoyed some more drinks out of the hospitality tent, and then it was time to head home. Turned out, the parking spot we parked in was in the perfect place to get to the car and head out. I grabbed a couple of energy drinks at the gas station which (along with a half cup of coffee at the end of the trip) kept me awake until I was able to get in bed at 5:30 AM. At one point in the ride, after my wife and Mom were asleep, we came up on what looked like an accident with the police directing traffic. Turns out it was a 'Safety Checkpoint'. After they made sure all my blinkers, brake lights and headlights were working properly, we were on our way. This was the only excitement on the whole way home. Luckily, I brought my Sennheiser headphones so I could comfortably listen to music without waking the others in the car.

This whole trip was fantastic and I couldn't have wished for a better time. I got to hang out with family, met some cool people (Sean from Daytrotter is a damn cool guy), ate free food and was quite impressed with the little bit I saw of Dixon. My wife even found a new band (she never heard any of Mumford's stuff before, I now have to get their albums) that she likes. She may have even liked this trip more than when we got to hang out backstage with The Fray... I did. :-D

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Rock on!


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