by Bill Pearis

Mumford & Sons at Pier A Park 8/1/2012 (via @coreymanicone)
Mumford at Pier A Park

Mumford & Sons kicked off a monthlong American tour on Wednesday night with an outdoor concert in Hoboken, N.J., providing thrills for more than 15,000 people who crowded into Pier A Park to hear these English folk rockers.

It was the first time a major rock concert had been held in the park, which was built on an old pier near the Path Station and has views of the Manhattan skyline, city officials said. The skyscrapers across the river were bathed in rosy light and a rainbow appeared in the stormy sky just before the band took the stage and launched into "Lover's Eyes," an anthemic song off their long-anticipated second studio album, "Babel," (Glassnote) which is scheduled to be released next month.

"We are very, very happy to be playing our first ever gig in New Jersey," the band's lead singer, Marcus Mumford, said when the cheering for the opening number had died down. "That was quite a sunset." [NY Times}

15,000 people! If there was any doubt, Mumford & Sons are officially huge now. Weird to think they played Cameo just three years ago. The band are playing unconventional venues (and smaller cities) this whole tour (with opener Dawes), it seems to be working out ok for them. Mumford's next stop is Portland, ME on Saturday (8/4).

Also last night, at Williamsburg's Glasslands was Canadian artist Cold Specks whose album is one of this year's Polaris Prize shortlist nominees. If you missed them, Cold Specks were just announced as one of two special guests at tonight's monthly Communion party (8/2) at Union Hall (the series recently relocated from Public Assembly).

As you may know, the Communion is partly run by Mumford & Sons' Ben Lovett. The second special guest at tonight's show -- which is sold out, by the way (maybe there will be tickets at the door) -- is being kept a mystery. And while you could make guesses on who that might be, we can say that Mumford is definitely NOT it. (And no, we are not "protesting too much.") So don't start freaking out, Mumford fans. Or if you already had started freaking out, you can stop.

Cold Specks tour dates are listed below.


Cold Specks - 2012 Tour Dates
3 - 5 August 2012- Sappy Fest, Sackville, NB
7 August 2012 - Le Divan Orange, Montreal, QC
8 August 2012 - The Great Hall, Toronto ON
10 - 12 August 2012 - Regina, SK - Regina Folk Fest
15 August 2012 - Barboza, Seattle, WA
16 August 2012 - The Echo, Los Angeles, CA
17 - 19 August 2012 - Salmon Arm, BC - Salmon Arm Roots and Blues
28 August 2012 - Feerien, Brussels, Belgium
31 August 2012 - Electric Picnic, Dublin, Ireland
02 September 2012 - End Of The Road Festival, UK
22 Sept 2012 - Reeperbahnfestival, Hamburg, Germany
23 Sept 2012 - Kantine Berghain, Berlin, Germany
24 Sept 2012 - Studio 672, Cologne, Germany
28 Sept 2012 - Spazio 211, Turin, Italy
30 Sept 2012 - Botanique, Brussels, Belgium
01 Oct 2012 - Rotown, Rotterdam, Holland
02 Oct 2012 - Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland
04 Oct 2012 - Atlas, Aarhus, Denmark
05 Oct 2012 - Vega, Copenhagen, Denmark
07 Oct 2012 - Les Heures in - D Festival, Liege, Belgium
08 Oct 2012 - Divan Du Monde, Paris, France
10 Oct 2012 - Union Chapel, London
12 Oct 2012 - John Peel Festival of New Music presents Cold Specks Sound and Vision, Norwich
13 Oct 2012 - Kazimer, Liverpool
14 Oct 2012 - Deaf Institute, Manchester
16 Oct 2012 - Open House Festival, Black Box, Belfast
17 Oct 2012 - Sugar Club, Dublin, Ireland