William’s First Avett Show in Augusta–It was everything he hoped for!
After what seemed like a year long wait, the night finally arrived. The day that my wife and I would finally make our first ever Avett show was here! The days following up to the show, I engulfed myself with everything ‘Avett’. Their music literally blasted 24/7 from our home stereo. Little did we know that nothing would prepare us for what we were about to witness.
Our day started off with a bang! Immediately after arriving we met Mr. Joe Kwon! He was such a gentleman. We got a couple of pictures with Joe and he kindly spent a little time talking with us. Joe is such a nice guy.
After checking out the downtown area, we finally pinned down our choice for a pre-show meal with friends. We met our niece and her two friends, and three friends we met on The Avett Brothers website. After a great meal at The Rooster’s Beak, we all headed down to Nacho Mama’s for drinks before we made our way to The Bell.
Arriving at The Bell, you could just feel the energy and excitement building. People were pumped and ready to see the boys for sure. Walking into the auditorium was amazing. I couldn’t help but think of what I was about to see. I looked around and I could already imagine people bouncing and clapping. We were finally here! We are about to see the band that has captured our hearts! How much better could it get?
Show time! The opening act was none other than Mr. Langhorne Slim and The Outlaws. Langhorne worked the crowd out of their seats and swooned everyone with the best live rendition of ‘Colette’ I could have ever imagined. During the song, Langhorne got off the stage and slowly worked his way into the audience and went as far as the wired microphone would let him. He wound up sitting on the edge of the stage for the better part of the song. Man, what a connection this guy makes with people! I’ve been a big fan of Langhorne for some time, but this experience just sealed the deal for me!
In between the Langhorne and The Avett show, there was about a 15 minute stage prep that seemed to tease everyone. You could hear people talking about different songs they would like to hear and this and that. Every once in a while you could hear some enthusiastic fans yelling. The time was near! As the lights dimmed the auditorium erupted into pure emotion! It was like a sea of roaring! Kick Drum Heart was the first song of the show. What a way to open the show. I was a little concerned considering that they opened with such a big song. How are they going to top that? Needless to say, they topped it alright! Every song seemed to build and build. Each song brought about more energy and that energy fed the crowd. The boys fed off the crowd and the crowd fed off the boys. Raw emotion, sweat, screams, and passion was there for the taking. Watching Joe has always been a delight for me. Here is this cool Asian man playing a cello while STANDING all while thrashing about and mouthing the lyrics to the songs. Joe’s cello bow looked like a maimed horse with all the horse hair splayed out from the ends. When Joe takes the stage, Joe delivers. God bless him!
Song after song, the boys never let up. Broken strings (all six of them) were for the most part, ignored. The momentum was going and I don’t believe it could have been stopped. Drenched in sweat under the hot colored lights, the boys continued to belt it out. The occasional scream from Seth and Scott was almost like a jolt from a stun gun. The screams were answered with a deafening surge of screams and applause from the crowd. Even if there were people who had never listened to The Avetts, you would have never known it.
I had my choice of songs that I wanted to hear, but once the show began it didn’t matter what they performed (They could have played ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’ and I would have been happily stoked). The highlights for the show for me were The NYE song (I won’t be scared to die), John Prine’s ‘Spanish Pipedream’, and of course a moment that brought tears to most. A young lady standing with a sign that read, ‘The Avett Brothers helped me beat cancer’ was moved up to the stage by the crowd during the song I and Love and You. Scott reached down and got the poster and then held it up for the crowd to see. While holding the sign over his heart he said, ‘Without our fans The Avett Brothers are not possible. Together we helped you”. That may not have been exactly how he said it, but that was pretty much it. That was a moving moment for my wife and me. It was just another reason to love these guys. What true gentlemen they are.
As all things must come to an end, and the show eventually did. The boys wrapped up the night with an encore of Hard Worker followed by Pretty Girl From Cedar Lane. I was momentarily saddened by the fact that the show was over, but I then remembered that we had tickets to the Savannah show for the following Wednesday! Regardless if I was fortunate enough to see them again or not, this one show in Augusta Georgia has changed my heart forever. The friendships we made, the energy, the emotion, and even the smells(call me crazy) will forever be etched in my memory. The Avett Brother’s songs have new meaning to me. My wife and I have finally found not just a band and their music, but a gathering of fine folks who appreciate true meaningful music. Long live The Avett Brothers!
Hope to see you all in Savannah Georgia!
Written by: William Calcote of Hopeulikit, Georgia
Thanks William for the special edition of Fan Friday on Wednesday! So glad you enjoyed your first show, not that I doubted you would.