Monday, December 9, 2013
By Aimsel Ponti firstname.lastname@example.org
SCARBOROUGH — Thirteen-year-old Julianna Poppavasiliou of Saco can’t make it to Saturday’s “Gentlemen of the Road Stopover” festival featuring the British folk-rock band Mumford & Sons.
Lead singer Marcus Mumford chats with his audience at Bull Moose Music in Scarborough Friday.
John Ewing/Staff Photographer
Band members Ted Dwane, Winston Marshall and Ben Lovett, perform. The band will headline Saturday’s festival.
John Ewing/Staff Photographer
However, she did get to attend the next-best thing: an intimate performance by the band Friday at the Scarborough Bull Moose Music store.
“I just like them because they’re different from everyone else,” said Poppavasiliou, who was first in line for the in-store appearance, with her father.
Friday’s performance gave 200 fans a short preview of Saturday’s festival, which has become one of the hottest tickets in Maine and drawn national attention.
As many as 16,000 people are expected to attend the sold-out event on Portland’s Eastern Promenade, which will be headlined by Mumford & Sons and include seven other bands on two stages.
Portland is the first stop for the festival, and one of only four cities on the U.S. leg. (Mumford & Sons is doing a regular U.S. tour as well.)
Fans were given tickets to the Scarborough show in July by pre-ordering copies of Mumford’s new CD, “Babel,” due out in September, at Bull Moose stores. The tickets to Friday’s show were gone within 15 minutes.
The doors opened at 1:15 p.m. Many people had waited for hours in Friday’s extreme heat to secure good spots. The store’s staff provided Popsicles, candy and bottled water.
Chris Brown, marketing director of the Bull Moose Music chain, was thrilled host the day’s event.
“We do these things as a give-back to our customers who support us all year long,” he said.
Fans poured in, scrambled for spaces and stood shoulder to shoulder. There was no shortage of enthusiasm – or camera phones.
Like Poppavasiliou, 19-year-old Whitney Williams of Marblehead, Mass., won’t attend Saturday’s show because she couldn’t get a ticket. She couldn’t get a ticket for Friday’s show, either, so she and her friend paid an online scalper $70 each.
But to her, it was worth it, even though she saw Mumford & Sons perform in Montreal. She considers herself a huge fan.
“I just love the soul of their music. I could listen to them all the time,” she said.
Minutes after the fans poured into the store, the band – Marcus Mumford, Winston Marshall, Ben Lovett and Ted Dwane – took the stage. They kicked off their four-song set with “I Will Wait,” from the “Babel” album, and followed it with another new song, “Ghosts That We Knew.”
“We just arrived in America, and are still sculpting our senses of humor around American senses of humor,” Mumford said, after a fan shouted out a laughter-inducing “I love you!”
He said the band couldn’t be happier to be in Maine. “We get to spend the whole weekend in Portland. It’s awesome, and we’re gonna eat lobster,” he said.
Mumford & Sons closed out the set with “Awake My Soul” from their hit debut album, “Sigh No More.” Several fans quietly sang along.
Leaving the show, everyone got a silk-screened poster commemorating the event.
When asked how she liked the performance, Poppavasiliou got right to the point: “I thought it was awesome.”
Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: