Gentlemen of The Road Stop over in Guthrie, OK is my number one music experience in my life thus far. Mumford & Sons did a wondful job handpicking the line up for this festival. Each band made Guthrie their home that weekend and helped create some amazing memories for the thousands of people that attended.
My first night their I caught the tail end of Justin Townes’ Earle performing, and then the entire performances of Phosphorescent and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. I felt so incredibly free and at peace with the audience that night. It felt like each person was there for the sole purpose of enjoying some great music. It was pure entertainment.
That night was the first time I’d ever heard Phosphorescent and I must say they were a pleasant surprise. Mathew Houck, the lead singer of Phosphorescent, who’s been compared to Bob Dylan by many critics, performed with so much spirit and passion, and left all that he had on the stage.
Mathew Houck takes pride in his music and it certainly showed that night with songs like “Song for Zulu” and Ride On/ Right On.
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros were a force to behold performing as the last band on Friday night. This 11-piece indie rock group blew my mind. This is another group that I wasn’t all too familiar with going into this music festival. The only song I was really familiar with was “Home” and I think everyone and their grandmother are familiar with that song. They’re some modern day hippies making some inspirational and deeply moving music. With amazing songs such as “40 Day Dream”, “Janglin” and “Let’s Get High”, you couldn’t help but dance along with everybody in the audience. This group was my favorite of the entire festival.
Following the Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros I avoided sleeping in what I refer to as Tent City, and proceeded to go sleep in my car that was parked in the $20-a-day parking spot. Some places were charging an outrageous $50 for parking! Yikes!
It was a great night’s rest despite spending the night in my compact car. I got up somewhat early and enjoyed a pleasant walk into to downtown Guthrie to find some delicious breakfast food. I just ended up with some food from Reasor’s deli and a Monster energy drink. So much for supporting the local businesses. I was really hungry and couldn’t wait!
The second day of the festival brought some great music along with heat that seemed unbearable at times. It didn’t help that I was consuming alcohol from my flask since the break of dawn. Anyways, I made my way onto the festival grounds when they opened the gates around 12pm. I luckily found some shade temporarily while I waited for the first group of the day, Bear’s Den. They were another group I was unfamiliar with that caught my attention and left me wanting more after their 30-minute set was done. I was fortunate enough to meet this cool group of dudes and get their autographs. Check out their EP “Agape”.
Those Darlins were next, but I honestly don’t have any memory of them. I believe I was in line hanging out with some new friends, waiting to meet the members of Bear’s Den during that thime. I’m sorry to those that are fans of Those Darlins. I was fortunate to catch the performance of Half Moon Run next, in the midst of the midday heat at 100 degrees. I must admit the heat of the day distracted me from fully enjoying their performance but they were fantastic despite tormenting sun. They have been compared to groups such as Radiohead, Alt-J, and Fleet Foxes. Check out songs such as “Full Circle” and “Call Me In The Afternoon” by this great group.
The next group I was able to see was Vaccines, who my dear friend, Teri, is a big fan of. I caught their pleasing performance as I was scarfing down some food around 6 pm. This London-based indie rock group was a perfect addition to the Gentlemen of The Road line-up. Their performances of “Post Break Up Sex”, “If You Wanna”, “Norgaard”, and “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)” were most memorable.
Alabama Shakes were next and they are the only group at this festival that I had previously seen elsewhere. I was able to see them at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, OK a couple of months earlier. Honestly, I have never heard a singer sing with soul as much as the lead singer of Alabama Shakes, Brittany Howard. Their performances of “Hang On”, “I Found You”, and “Hang Loose” moved me and left me wanting more. People and their damn festival blankets at this point were starting to annoy me.
Mumford & Son’s were the last notable band to perform of the evening. They displayed perfection with each song they played from their albums. They even played a couple of Beatles’ covers such as “Come Together”, performed with the lead singers of Vaccines and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. The finale of the night was “With A Little Help From My Friends”, a collaboration of every band that was part of the festival.
I will never forget this experience. It is not a weekend I will soon forget, that’s for sure.
**October will be a busy concert month for us here at GATRS, so check back and enjoy the shows with us as we see Jimmy Eats World, Local Natives, The National/Tame Impala, Arctic Monkeys, Walk the Moon and more!!