There is a reason why The Avett Brothers are my favorite band of all time (and, of course, why I’ve seen them in concert six times). Before Friday, that reason was because their music is inspirational to say the least. Since Friday, however, I’ve added a small infinity of reasons to that list… the first of which is the fact that the communities of fans that have formed because of their music are full of amazing people.
It was 2pm on Friday when I decided to walk to Panera. As I was walking, I passed a young woman with an Avett Brothers handbag. I asked her if the buses parked along the street belonged to The Avett Brothers, and she very animatedly replied with some variation of, “Yes!” We got to talking, and I found out she was part of the Avett Nation group (who are, by the way, wonderful!) and she asked me to sign the banner. The banner travels to each concert and will be handed up to the band at their NYE show. Scott refers to it as his “cloak.”
After that, there was nothing left to do but wait for the concert. According to my new Avett Nation friend, the band would make an appearance from their tour bus before the show. So, we did what any reasonable fans would do… and we waited. At about five minutes before the concert was to begin, I got to meet The Avett Brothers for the first time! (It’s not like I’m still freaking out about that or anything…)
!!!!! What’s even better, though, was how amazingly nice they were. Mike and Joe both shook our hands. Seth shook my hand and, upon telling me how cold it was, proceeded to try and warm it whilst genuinely thanking me over and over for making it to the show. He hugged us all at the end, as well. The Avett Nation banner was signed by all the band members, which was also huge!
The show itself was truly amazing. The band has quite the reputation for giving awesome live shows, and they never disappoint. One of the friends who came with me to the show had never seen them live before, and she is already looking for another ticket for their tour.
The first song they played was “Laundry Room” which is, incidentally, my favorite song by them. It was an amazing rendition, and I captured some of the beginning on film here! The end of “Laundry Room” always makes me want to dance, and all of the audience was on their feet. See the clip I posted here.
Later in the night, the band performed their song “St. Joseph’s” from The Second Gleam album. I wasn’t expecting them to play it, as they don’t usually do so. It’s a beautiful song, and I’m incredibly happy they chose to perform it. Check out my video! They made it very sentimental. The Hill Auditorium was the perfect place for it. They also performed another of my favorites: “Die Die Die.” I’d never heard that one live before, so it was amazing!
There was one point in the concert when someone yelled, “I love you guys!” Scott replied in one of the best ways humanly possible: “We’re all masculine boys up here. There is some power behind that love.” They kept the show interesting throughout its entirety by interacting with the audience and changing things up a bit! Bob had a solo during one of the songs, and was encouraged heartily as it progressed.
Some other memorable moments were when the band encouraged audience participation at the end of “Paranoia In Bb Major.” I managed to get some of it on video. At one point during the song, “Kick Drum Heart,” the majority of the band was huddled on their knees in the corner of the stage, rocking out on their respective instruments. Scott and Tania later did something very similar (which I posted here).
They performed “Salina,” “Murder In The City” (which I mentioned in my preview), “Head Full Of Doubt, Road Full Of Promise” (excerpts are here and here), and many more. Joe tweeted the complete set list after the show.
All in all, it was the best show (and night) I’ve had here in Ann Arbor. I can’t wait to see The Avett Brothers again soon! If you’re lucky enough to have tickets for this year, keep an eye out for Avett Nation and the banner. Look for my signature next to Tania’s!