The following post is a show report that I wrote for the Soulful Sound Lounge (http://convozine.com/asoulfulsound). It was one of my favorite concerts of the year and just wanted to share it on my blog. Go visit the Soulful Sound Lounge for amazing coverage on some great artists. Proceed to the review:

The Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Monterey, California was an experience that many will remember for years to come. Upon hearing that the stopover would be held at the Monterey fairgrounds, I knew that the show would be memorable. The Monterey Fairgrounds is the home to a piece of musical history as it is the famous location where Jimi Hendrix lit his guitar on fire. Monterey is also well-known to those who are fans of author John Steinbeck. With the ability to boast of Steinbeck and Hendrix fame, it’s no wonder why Mumford and Sons chose Monterey, California as the last location for their GOTR tour.

When I learned of the location, I immediately knew that this would be a show that I could not miss. So with my best friend by my side, the voyage from Southern California to Monterey, California was made. When we were let into the fairgrounds, we made our way to the second stage. Slow Club was due to play, and I was extremely excited to see them. Before Slow Club took the stage, however, the boys of Mumford and Sons came on stage to officially start the stopover. It was a nice unexpected treat for the audience.

After Mumford and Sons left the stage, Slow Club took the stage. Unsurprisingly, the band did not disappoint. Slow club is a folk-rock duo made up of Rebecca Taylor (lead vocals, drums, guitar) and Charles Watson (guitar and vocals). Rebecca and Charles were very witty and enjoyable to listen to. The way Rebecca wailed on the drums and belted out the notes was extremely impressive. Charles’ smooth vocals, skills on the guitar, and charming wit complemented Rebecca. It was easy to see why Slow Club was chosen to open the show. Some of my favorite performances from Slow Club included “If We’re Still Alive”, “Beginners”, and “Giving up on Love”.

Once Slow Club finished their set, we made our way to the main stage to get a good spot for The Apache Relay. The Apache Relay had been on my “To See Live” list so it was exciting to finally get to see them play on such a historic stage.  The Apache Relay is an Indie/Folk rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. The Apache Relay set kicked off with “Achilles Heel”, followed by “American Nomad”, and “Lets Speak”. My favorite performance of the set was when Ben Lovett cam on stage during “Broken Eyes”. The band is definitely worth checking out, and I encourage anyone who has a chance to see them live, to take it.

After Apache Relay, it was time for the two member band Two Gallants. The Two Gallants played impressively. If you were to close your eyes, you would think that the band was made up of 4-5 members, not two. The highlight of the set was when they played “Las Cruces Jail”. The song is hands down my favorite from them, and did a great job of keeping the crowds excitement up.

After the Two Gallants, it was time for Gogol Bordello. The band got most of the crowd excited, and most seemed to enjoy the set. As for my personal opinion, I will leave it at saying that this band is just not my thing.

Once Gogol Bordello left the stage, it was FINALLY time for Mumford and Sons. The special lighting was turned on and the crowd was anxious for the band to come on. The band opened their set with “Lovers Eyes” and all was right in my little world. Marcus’ amazingly soulful voice and kick drum skills, Ben’s skills and excitement on the keyboard, Ted’s  unique sound on the upright bass, and Winston’s insane talent on the banjo were mesmerizing. I was squished like a sardine in an over-packed tin can, but it didn’t matter. The music being made in front of my eyes made all of the pain in my feet and the fifty different smells around me completely worth it. The second song was the well-known “Little Lion Man”. Experiencing and joining in with the crowd to shout out “I really fucked it up this time” along with Marcus was only one of the moments where the audience felt united. “Thistle and Weeds” was another performance that seemed to resonate deeply with the crowd. Maybe it was the pure talent of band, or maybe it was the fact that we were able to sing “Rain down on me” while it began to slightly rain. Either way, the experience was memorable.  Other favorite performances included “White Blank Page”, “Below My Feet”, and “Dustbowl Dance”.  Out of those three, “Below My Feet” seemed to move me the most. The entire set was positively beautiful and worth anything that had to be endured to get to that point. The fact that I was lucky enough to see Mumford and Sons in such a historic setting only added to the experience.

It was an absolute honor to be able to attend this stopover. It was a day filled with amazing music, great drinks, and a pretty awesome crowd. Choosing Monterey as the site for their last stopover site was definitely a wise choice. The only disappointing factor is that weekends like the one I experienced are few and far between.

Set Lists

Slow Club

If We’re Still Alive

Never Look Back

Beginners

Disco Way

Everything is new

Not Mine to Love

Giving up on Love

Once Slow Club finished their set.

Apache Relay-

Achilles Heel

American Nomad

Lets Speak

Watering Hole

Lost Kid

Untitled New Song (Hearts Desire)

Two Gallants-

Winters Youth

Despite What You’ve Been Told

My Love Won’t Wait

Steady Rollin

Las Cruces Jail

New Song

Halycon Days

Nothing to You

Broken Eyes

Mumford and Sons-

Lovers Eyes

Little Lion Man

Roll Away your Stone

White Blank Page

Below My Feet

Timshel

I Will Wait

Lover of the Light

Thistle and Weeds

Ghosts the We Knew

Awake My Soul

Dustbowl Dance

Winter Winds

The Cave

The Weight (with Two Gallants, Haim, Slow Club, Apache Relay, and Group Love”)

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