Mumford and Sons’ live music festival, Gentleman of the Road, recently made a stopover in Iowa – an FP girl shares her experience.
This post comes from our store music committee member, Maeve!
The Gentlemen of the Road music festival stopped in Waverly, IA a couple weeks ago. Quite a few FP favorites performed at the festival including Jenny Lewis, My Morning Jacket, Dawes, and Rubblebucket. Meet Maeve, ASM of Hollywood and music committee member! She attended the festival and couldn’t wait to share her recap and photos with us…
Music has always been essential — if not a necessity — in my daily life. I contribute to the store playlists and Spotify playlists monthly for Free People as well as have my own Instagram account dedicated to live music photography, records, and events called MusicUrges. Though I grew up in Los Angeles, I always went back to Iowa during summer break and a few times in the winter, making it my second home. When I found out there would be a stopover in Waverly, IA I couldn’t miss out on combining my favorite things: live music, family, and good times. Gentlemen of the Road is a moving festival curated by Mumford and Sons, bringing everything needed to the town of their choice. They aim to stopover in small, rural towns and cities, bridging the gap between music festival culture and small town culture, including keeping everything local, such as food and beer. Every stopover is unique and special just like the towns and bands that play.
After trekking through damp corn husks and walking along the railroad tracks, I made it to the gates of Gentlemen of the Road in Waverly, IA. The day was warm, humid, and filled with so much excitement in the air for this being the first big music festival held in such a small, quiet town. The Very Best started off on the main stage and did their job, getting the crowd up and dancing with their upbeat melodies and interaction with everyone. Singer/songwriter and wildly talented guitarist Blake Mills was next up. His lo-fi folk sound is infectious and left me speechless with the way he played with such ease and grace. Dawes came on the main stage with such calmness and readiness to please the growing crowd. Their folk-rock melodies had everyone swaying together under the beating sun, during the set Blake Mills joined them for “When My Time Comes” making the crowd more excited for what was in store for the remainder of the festival. As the sun started to set and the crowd settling into their spots, headliners My Morning Jacket hit the stage. As soon as their intro music played, the crowd was elated and ready to dance into the night. Throughout their set the energy level was building with the notion of something truly special about to happen. Before their set came to a close the band brought out Dawes and Blake Mills to perform “Down On The Bottom” from The New Basement Tapes, among other songs. Combing their stage lighting, incredible energy, special guests, and positivity the crowd and myself was left mystified.
A huge rain storm had come quick in the night and left the earth soaked yet beautifully bright. Entering the gates for the second time in rain boots ready for the mud I noticed an increase of people attending. The weather was not going to stop this town and their people from enjoying some of the best music around. A personal favorite of mine, JEFF The Brotherhood, were the first to kick off the main stage. They were loud, heavy, and did a great rendition of “Cinnamon Girl”, which pleased the crowd — and myself — alike. There were more artists this day, including The Maccabees and Rubblebucket, who kept the crowd going with their catchy melodies making it impossible to do anything but dance. Jenny Lewis came out guitar slinging and ready to put on a show. She danced around the stage performing not only her solo songs but those of Rilo Kiley which pleased the crowd immensely. The Flaming Lips are a band that I know, no matter what, I will be expecting the brightest and strangest stage presence. With Wayne Coyne blasting confetti, walking on the crowd in a clear ball, and dancing with caterpillars, the set was nothing short of a good time. Now it was time for the men that made all this come together and our hosts for the past two days, Mumford and Sons. They started off with “Lovers Eyes” off of Babel, in that moment they had me and the crowd and we weren’t going anywhere for the two hours of bliss. Though since going electric with their new album they managed to intertwine banjo-driven songs throughout the set and ended on the highest of highs, covering “With a Little Help From My Friends” and brought out all acts from that day to join in on an unforgettable moment.
Check out the Gentlemen of the Road Playlist I created, including some of my favorite tracks played at the fest!
Maeve posted even more photos from this festival on her instagram account, check it out! Music Urges (@musicurges)