FAN FRIDAY- Alex Bradshaw on his Charlotte Avett Experience

Well here it is, a Thursday night back in Greenville, NC still recollecting about what happened Saturday night in Charlotte. Anytime someone has a chance to see their hometown band back where it all started it’s sure to be a treat and The Avett Brothers didn’t disappoint at all. Prior to the Charlotte show I had a seen them twice before; once in Raleigh and once in Asheville for the December 30th show. Unlike my Avett right hand (wo)man, Elizabeth Immel, who had seen them 12 times before, I am still a rookie to the Avett experience. A crafty woman this Elizabeth is. When we first heard about the Charlotte show the floor tickets had been taken by the super fast fan club members and we were left with decent seats amongst the more “hobby” listeners of the Avetts. Hearing this news, I immediately got bummed, it was definitely a sad day in Greenvilletown for me. How was I supposed to get my dance on when i’m stuck up in some seats? Elizabeth told me not to worry, that she had it covered. Well, two weeks and some trading like that guy from craigslist later, she turned those seats into the floor tickets that I oh so wanted.

The Tsunami the radar showed looming over the Charlotte area an hour before doors opened didn’t exactly pump me up for the show. By God’s blessing the rain held off and allowed us to wait in line and pound some Red Bulls and Tylenol (this may seem crazy but once you get 5 songs deep at an Avett show you’ve lost some energy and gained a headache). While the anticipation was building within Elizabeth and I waiting in line, we met our first fans of the day. They were two women in their late 50′s early 60′s, one rocking converse, with more excitement than a 16 year old girl who just touched Scott’s hand. Speaking with them I found out that one of the women had a daughter who graduated from our school and Scott’s Alma mater, East Carolina University. These women reminded me of the fan base that The Avett Brothers attract; personable, kind, and excited people. After we made our way into the coliseum Elizabeth informed me her first stop was the bathroom, typical girl, and for me to make my way to the floor. Well I did and struck up a conversation with a security guard named Eddie. Eddie informed me he had been working at the coliseum for a “longggggg time” and that he was excited to see the home town boys. We ended the conversation with a handshake and Elizabeth and I made our way into the crowd. Elizabeth asked me about my conversation with Eddy and proceeded to tell me that wherever we go I end up making a friend (hey, I like to network). Once in the crowd we met two amazing fans, Jenny and Steve from Indiana, who some readers may know from this website. All four of us struck conversations that ended up lasting till Grace Potter started. When I think about meeting this Avett power couple I think about what if I never had met them. I would have never known the Avetts played a small wedding in my home town that Jenny and Steve attended or that this site ever existed. An Avett Brothers show isn’t just music. It is a chance to meet humble and kind people from across the country and I am extremely happy Elizabeth and I got to meet this couple on their Avettcation.

After the lights went out we said our goodbyes to Jenny and Steve and watched as Grace Potter strutted her stuff onto the stage. She did amazing and was a heck of an opening act. Once the Avetts took the stage I was ready to explode from excitement. Their opening song was one that I never would have expected, It’s Good To Be Back Home by John Denver, but it gave me the feeling that they wanted to bring that small hometown feeling to the crowd at the coliseum.

I won’t break the entire setlist down because it can be seen on this website, but I will say that it was PERFECT. I’m not exactly sure what goes into creating a setlist but the setlist for the show in Charlotte seemed to be divinely inspired. Songs one and two got the crowed focused on the intentions of the show, while three, four, five, six, and seven introduced everyone to the roller coaster ride that was soon to come. With just the right amount of cover songs and songs rarely seen live, i.e. Letter To A Pretty Girl and Scared To Die, it made for a unique show that could have only been spawned in Charlotte, NC. The crowd on the other hand could have used a few more Red Bulls. While Elizabeth and I were jumping around like wild animals, I turned behind me and saw our only other competition, Jenny and Steve. By no means was the crowd just standing there, I just figured I would see some more energy throughout the show. I made a promise to myself to never miss an Avett Brothers show in North Carolina. Right now i’m three for four and don’t plan on missing the Greensboro show in October. I’m not sure how many people can say that about their favorite bands, but I can tell you any Avett Brothers fan will tell you they won’t miss a show in their state. It’s the dedication of the band and the fans that draws me to the Avetts and if they made music for the next 50 years I’ll be right there in the crowd still singing every word to Kick Drum Heart and Pretty Girl From Cedar Lane.

Post by: Alex Bradshaw from Greenville, NC

Thank you Alex for this awesome rundown of your hometown Charlotte Avett expereince. I can echo that it was great to meet you and Elizabeth. Like you said in your post the Avetts attract personable, kind, and excited people. You and Elizabeth have a much early start on your Avett following than Steve and I, so you may well be the true power couple.

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