Ed, my friend Suzy and I took in the Gentlemen on the Road Stopover this Thursday through Saturday and I’ve been breaking it down for you here every night after all the shows are over for the day. Gentlemen of the Road Stopover was a three day event that Mumford and Sons held in Seaside Heights. National acts played a large stage on the beach and local bands had sets all over the rest of the boardwalk and Ocean Terrace area. The acts we saw on Saturday—the final day—included Thomas Wesley Stern, The Vaccines, Jenny Lewis, The Flaming Lips, Mumford and Sons, River City Extension and OWEL.
Our legs and feet were ready to give out by the end of Saturday night but we made it through all three days of music at the festival without breaking down. The entire festival was filled with fun and excitement. We all three agreed that none of us had been to an event of this size that came off so perfectly. Kudos to Seaside Heights and the promoters of the show for having firm but friendly security, plenty of port-o-johns and lots of food and clothing vendors to keep everyone happy.
It had been drizzling rain Thursday all the way into Saturday morning. Nothing that spoiled anyone’s fun, but it did help to keep things cool and chill everybody out, I think. By Saturday afternoon, a nice warm sun came out from behind all the clouds and made the perfect late Spring day for the final acts of the festival.
The first act we caught was Thomas Wesley Stern on the Ocean Terrace stage. The band couldn’t have been more perfectly set up to play on the day Mumford and Sons played the big stage. TWS has a similar kind of musical style that Mumford does but with the local NJ charm that we love so much.
After a late lunch at the iconic JR’s Ocean Bar and Grill, we set up camp on the edge of the boardwalk to have the ideal viewing area for the big headliners coming up. From there we first saw U.K. band The Vaccines who blew our socks off.
Jenny Lewis followed The Vaccines with her breezy pop songs and lots of rainbow-encrusted stage gear. She was extremely engaging with the crowd and even asked for a slice of the legendary Jersey pizza and got one!
The incomparable Flaming Lips came on right before the festival hosts. Wayne Coyne and band put their unusual spectacle of a show on overdrive and had more balloons, confetti and streamers than one concert’s ever seen.
They had Wayne dressed up in a giant silver scorpion suit that eventually got sent into the audience to be torn up into a multitude of balloons to bounce around.
At different times, there were blow up manatees, suns, rainbows and mushrooms on stage.
The coolest thing was when he came out into the crowd in a bubble.
After the Lips finished their show, the crowd started getting audibly more excited as Mumford and Sons was getting set up. Naturally, they exploded when Mumford took the stage.
Mumford and Sons played many new songs from their latest album along with fan favorites from older releases.
There was a finale with lots of people from opening bands but the crowds overtook us and the boardwalk was jumping up and down so hard that, sadly, pictures were just a pipe dream at that point.
Two more NJ bands closed out the festival on the Ocean Terrace stage as everyone packed up and started heading home. River City Extension played a very enthusiastic set to their (nearly) hometown crowd. They’re from Toms River, just over the bridge from Seaside.
OWEL closed out the show with their cool ambient rock from Middlesex County.
Check out all our pictures from Saturday into Sunday night, including one of Ed getting to meet Wayne Coyne!
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