My family decided to take a family Avettcation from Indianapolis to Charlotte to Atlanta and back home totalling 1,500 miles. I was excited and scared to death at the same time. This would be the longest car trip for our family of four (3 year old and 1 year old) and my mother-in-law have taken ever. We left Indy at 5AM last Thursday and amazingly made it to the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC by about 3:15. So far so good. The family really enjoyed the Great Wolf Lodge and the few days we spent there. By Saturday, my husband and I were exhausted, but ready to break out of the lodge and hit Bojangles’ Collesium for our first Avett Brothers home show. The anticipation was high. Would it be different in Charlotte? We stopped by the Laurel Market for the Avett inspired sandwiches, but the Gimmeakiss ingredients were out by the time we got there. It was a bit disappointing, but their regular sandwiches were delicious none the less. We got to Bojangles’ about 2 PM expecting some excitement before the show, but the parking lot was rather empty. We did enjoy hearing the soundcheck and having a couple of beers in the parking lot. I also got my Tarot Cards read by our nice neighbors. That was interesting and fun too.
Next I got to meet Jim Avett in the parking lot, which was pretty awesome. He seemed a bit rushed, but all in all very gracious and informed me that he was going to be playing with the Overmountain Men before the show. So around 4:30 we headed to the side stage. The Overmountain Men were pretty good and we enjoyed them a lot. They have a great feel to them and seemed to be natual performers. Bob Crawford seemed to really enjoy playing with them as well. Then Joe Kwon and Jim Avett joined them for the last few songs. It was nice to see them up close and with a smaller feel again. It feels like forever since I have seen the Avetts that way (in reality it has only been a few years). I also got to meet a few fellow Avett fans that I have come to know through the website, which was really a treat too.
So, now on to the Charlotte show.We waited in the pouring rain to get in. Unfortunately we didn’t have presale seats for this show, but I don’t think it mattered all that much. We weren’t far from the presale general admission once we got in. Again everyone was excited once we got in. We met a couple Alex and Elizabeth who were from Scott’s alma mater ECU and it was great to chat with them. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals rocked it out as I have seen them in the past. At one point they are all playing the drums and that was really awesome to see. Now it was time for the Avetts. What I felt at this show, was that I was not a “crazy” Avett fan. Most everyone was like me and it wasn’t unthinkable that this was your 15th show. That was more the norm. I was surrounded with people like me (mostly younger versions though). The setlist was a good one and it was pretty amazing to look around and see all 9,000 people up on their feet singing every word to every song. It was big crowd and a loud one too. I wished that there wasn’t as much chatter going on through the songs, but with a crowd that big that is somewhat to be expected. It was also fun to live tweet the setlist from the show. I was nervous that I wouldn’t recognize or forget a song, but seriously here who was I kidding I know them all. Highlights for me were Scott, Seth and Bob opening with a much better than John Denver’s version of “It’s Good to Be Back Home Again”, Tear Down the House (this became a favorite of my at last year’s Nashville Show) and “I and Love and You”, which is always better live because you feel the meaning of it. It was amazing to see the whole place with their fingers up counting the I and Love and you. That was a special moment. Alas the sadness of an Avett show being over after another on of my newer favorites “Laundry Room”.
The next morning we loaded up the crew and headed out to Atlanta. Another smooth drive, but we didn’t get to the game until the fifth inning, which isn’t so bad with the little kids. We got our field passes and made our way down after the Braves loss. From the field, I looked around and saw that a lot of people stayed for the game. I guess I never know what to expect because I still think of the Avetts as this little band that I know, not a band that over 15,000 people stick around after a Braves loss to watch. But this crowd was up on their feet, dancing and singing too. That was a pretty amazing sight to look up and see and hear. Again, we weren’t in the greatest spot on the field because of our kids, but we put Elle up on our shoulders and enjoyed this show with a different feeling than ever before. My daughter, Elle, was so excited to see her favorite band and I think I was more excited that she was there to share this moment with us. We danced, clapped and sang along to her favorites. She was so excited when they played “Kickdrum Heart”. It was great. Then again following the Charlotte show theme, my favorite moment was when they played “I and Love and You” and I looked up at my daughter on my husband’s shoulders with her fingers up counting the I and love and you. It was a tender moment that is embedded in my memory and hers too, because she said that was her favorite part. Again the show was over and I am bummed, but I did get a high five from Scott as they were running off the field. The only really sad part is that Elle was bummed that we didn’t get to meet “The Abett Broders”, because we didn’t have the meet and greet passes, but she got over it as soon as we offered her pizza.
All in all this was a great Avettcation and I am so glad that we went to see them play on their home field and then again on the baseball field. It is a trip we will all remember (except maybe Ben our one year old) forever.Share