FAN FRIDAY Chris Dethloff–First it was U2 then The Avett Brothers
”Disappear from you hometown, Go and find the people that you know”
Those are the 12 words that I first heard The Avett Brothers sing to me live in a concert. I was hooked before I saw them live, and now, with those 12 words, they had locked me in as a permanent Avett concert-goer for good. That was a few years ago, and I’ve never regretted that moment. So after a back-to-back Avett concert weekend a couple of weeks ago, I started thinking, could I name my favorite Avett Brothers show? Most everyone can name their favorite fairly quickly, some of you may not have had a chance to see them live yet, so they can’t name their fave. Some of you may have only seen them once, and will name that one. This all got me thinking about the shows that I have seen them at, and all of the different experiences/crowds/friends/emotions that went with them.
I’ve seen the Avett Brothers concert a total of 8 times in 5 different states. I have friends who have seen them 40+ times, and friends who haven’t seen them at all yet. My 1st and 4th show, I saw them as an opening act in a 20,000+ seat amphitheatres. Although, not very many people paid attention to them, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of them. The rest of the shows have been as the main act. I’ve seen them outdoors on beautiful summer evenings, indoors at clubs, college gyms, and restored theaters, and even an intimate radio station performance with only 80 people in the crowd. I’ve had the extreme luck and fortune to have even talked with them off stage a few times. ]They’ve always surprised me with at least one song I’ve never heard live, and have always given 110% to their performance. That’s why I keep coming back-it’s never the same performance night after night. They never just “mail-it-in”. They make me laugh, several times they have made me cry, and they tend to do both at every show. The band’s interview in the most recent Fretboard Journal magazine included an observation by the writer of the article that said “A study of Avett crowds always reveals a strong undercurrent of personal affection and admiration-the band and their fans really seem to LIKE each other”. I’ve said many times that this is a band who loves it’s fans as much as we love them. And it shows in everything they do when they are on and off stage.
Many years ago, when I was younger, I saw an opening act that blew my mind. I promised myself that if they ever came with 5 hours distance of where I was living, I wouldn’t miss a show. That opening band that I saw….was U2. And I have kept my promise with them, even though tickets got more expensive and harder to get. Many years later, there has been only one other band that I have even remotely thought about making that same pledge to. And even though tickets also got more expensive, and harder to get, I have no regrets of making that promise to see The Avett Brothers any chance that I got. I will be seeing shows 9, 10, and 11 in July. Although my bank account might be a little bit lower because of this, I couldn’t be happier with my decision.
So,to answer my question….my favorite show was in my town of Portland, OR at the Crystal Ballroom benefit show for the Terra Nova farm here in Portland. It was restricted to 500 tickets, had rare songs, had the last recorded stage dive by Scott, and a personal meet and greet after the show with them for the entire audience. They stayed and took pictures with us, talked with us, signed anything we put in front of them, and personally shook hands and thanked each and every one of us for coming. After giving us a show of a lifetime, THEY were thanking us! Just unreal. But it made me think of ways to repay them for what they gave me…a way to pay things forward. That’s a real gift for a band to be able to make us think that way. That’s why I love being a fan of their music and their shows….and that’s exactly how this band will “leave behind the world a better way”.
Post by Chris Dethloff of Portland, Oregon
Thank you so much for this post Chris. It is amazing that you found U2 that way and who knows where this journey with The Avett Brothers will take us. I am in for the ride with you girl!Share