Mumford & Sons with Dawes and The Last Post
For the last fifteen minutes I’ve been sitting at my desk staring at a blank document. To be honest, I’m not sure how to start off this blog post. Any words that come to mind do not seem quite good enough to describe what I have to share. Why? Two reasons… 1. Last night I saw Mumford & Sons with Dawes at the Chicago Theater and 2. This is my last day as the Shure Artist Relations Intern for the summer and therefore, my last blog post. But before the waterworks start, I must share with you all my fairytale night.
Now when most people think of fairytales they picture a princess, prince, fairy godmother, evil witch, and maybe throw in a dragon and some other talking animals in there. And of course at the end of the story, it always ends with a “and they lived happily ever after”. Well growing up I was never really into the whole princess/prince thing… I was more into remote control cars and Thomas The Choo Choo Train. (I blame my dad for this.) So fairytales for me are a little different. Although I didn’t meet any fairies or talking squirrels this summer, the last three months have been MY own personal fairytale. And last night was my “happily ever after” and the perfect ending to an unforgettable summer.
Since I was little and started really getting into music, the artists I’ve considered as my favorite bands have always changed. However, for the past two years this has not been the case…
(CAUTION: The following lines are about to come across very corny, but the writer would like you to know she means every word with the utmost sincerity.)
The moment I heard Mumford & Sons I knew I had found a band different from any other artist I had heard before. Yes, there are songs by other bands that will always be favorites of mine, but I hadn’t come across a band where I have connected with every. single. song. until I heard Mumford. I play them on repeat constantly and I have yet to get tired of one of their songs. The mixture of their lyrics, stage commanding instruments, and the rough, but comforting sound of all their voices combined have made them my number one band for the last two years.
But along with this has come the constant frustration of not being able to see them live because of a little thing called distance. But this is no longer the case. Last night this incredibly rude spell was broken and my fairytale ending came true.
Sr. MarComm Manager, Lena Juncaj, and I arrived to the Chicago Theater around 7:30 p.m. and quickly found our seats next to Cory Lorentz which were third row center left. I about died. (Little did I know I would die at least 4 other times that night.) Dawes started the show playing “If I Wanted Someone” and I knew immediately that it was going to be one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen. They continued to play all my favorite songs and then it happened…. Taylor Goldsmith, lead singer of Dawes, stopped to announce that Marcus Mumford would join them on stage to sing “When My Time Comes”. At that moment, Marcus strolled on stage smiling and waving to the crowd and simultaneously my heart dropped fifty stories. My immediate reaction was reaching my arm out and grabbing Lena’s knee. A million things were running through my mind, but the one thought that kept popping up the most was, “THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE.” But ohh it was.
After a few minutes of watching him sing on stage with Dawes, my heart slowly started beating again and I snapped out of my frozen state. From that moment on, I literally could not stop smiling. And I’m not talking about a small smile here… I’m talking a big, wide, gaping, embarrassing thing where people stop and wonder is that her mouth or a pit into the deep abyss?? But I couldn’t have cared less.
As soon as Mumford & Sons walked on stage everyone stood up and stayed standing the entire night. They kicked things off with “Lover’s Eyes” followed by “Roll Away Your Stone” and the crowd went CRAZY. The amount of energy the guys brought to the stage reflected off of every person in the theater. You could see the simple love for music that each one of them had in their eyes as they played and this brought everyone in the crowd to be on the same page.
Half way through the show they stopped playing and Marcus told everyone they would turn off their technology if the crowd did the same. The four of them walked up to the front of the stage, stood close together, Marcus adjusted his guitar, and after a few “shhhh’s” from the audience the entire theater was silent and they began playing “After The Storm”. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. The sound of their voices and Marcus’ guitar without any microphones traveled softly throughout the crowd. It was something I will never forget.
A couple of songs later they played “Awake My Soul”… one of my FAVORITE songs of theirs. Dawes came back on stage for this and so did two other unexpected guests. Marcus and Winston Marshall invited two children around the age of seven or eight years old on stage to dance with them because they had noticed that the two kids had been singing along and dancing to every song so far. They were absolutely adorable and again, sang every word right along with them.
For the grand finale, Dawes once again joined them and out of nowhere Mumford & Sons and Dawes started playing “With A Little Help From My Friends”. Within the first second of the song, a THUNDEROUS roar emerged from the audience and everyone had the same expression of shock and joy on their face. It was THEE BEST FINALE I HAVE EVERRRR SEEN. EVER. All the guys on stage were just jumping around singing, laughing, dancing, and having a grand ol’ time playing together.
After the show Cory, Lena, and I went backstage. We went downstairs and when we walked into the room the Dawes band was hanging out mingling with the other people there. It was a great atmosphere for everyone to be in after such an incredible show. A little while later a few members of Mumford & Sons walked in and Marcus immediately walked over to the ping pong table. The three of us were already standing in that area so we watched as Griffin Goldsmith, drummer of Dawes, and Marcus played an intense game of ping pong.
When I fell asleep last night I was still in complete awe of everything that had happened. Instead of flying off into the sunset on a magic carpet, I witnessed my favorite band put on one of the most brilliant performances I have ever seen (which if you ask me was one hundred times better than riding on any carpet). I could not have imagined a more fitting ending to my Shure summer story.
But before I end this blog post, I’d just like to thank a few people who have helped make the last three months here so incredible…
When I received the call from Cory Lorentz back in April that I had won the 2012 Shure Artist Relations Intern Competition, I instantly checked into Hotel Cloud 9. I didn’t think things could possibly get any better. But boy, was I wrong.
My experience at Shure this summer has fully exceeded my expectations. It may be hard to believe, but each day I woke up excited to go to work. Every morning on my drive to Niles, I knew that the day would present a new learning experience because there is not one day in Artist Relations that repeats itself. I have gained more knowledge about the different aspects of this business than I ever thought I would just within a matter of three months.
Don’t get me wrong… the exciting demands and perks of this internship definitely added to my love for this job, but what really made this summer so unforgettable were the people who I worked with. Everyone here welcomed me in a way that I never saw coming. Yes, they were my work colleagues and superiors, but… and I knowww this is going to sound incredibly cheesy… within the second week I considered them friends. And now after this summer I can say I have established a small Shure family. So I would just like to say thank you to Cory, Nelson Arreguin, Rich Sandrok, Ryan Smith, Paul Natkin, Terri Hartman, Mike Lohman, Lena Juncaj, Davida Rochman, Paula Molaro, Todd Pretty, Marianela Silva, Gabe Benitez, Chris Salay, and Bryan Bogardus for making my time at Shure better than I could have ever imagined.
Okay well I’m all out of cheesiness and words… I’m pretty sure this post was longer than the Harry Potter books so if you stuck around until the very end major props to you and if not, I completely understand. It has been amazing writing for the Shure Mic Check Blog so thank you and in the words of Ron Burgundy, “Keep it classy (insert your city here).”