Way back in January, I was casually scrolling through Facebook and was delighted to see that The Avett Brothers, one of my all-time favorite bands, were going to play in Knoxville on May 16th. Fortunately, I was able to purchase tickets a week in advance because I'm on their email list. According to the women at the will call booth where we picked up our tickets, they sold 4,000 tickets for the show. My mom and I decided to buy the tickets as a birthday present for Patrick (who turned 23 on May 11th) despite it being months in advance. While the show wasn't exactly a surprise, we had the whole semester to look forward to the concert, which just so happened to fall on the last day of finals week.
As with most shows I've gone to, professional grade cameras weren't allowed. I don't actually own a point and shoot anymore, so I went with a more risky decision than just relying on my iPhone. Patrick and I stopped by Walgreens and I picked up a disposable camera dedicated to capturing our day. While the pictures from the show itself are pretty grainy (800 speed film will do that to ya), I love the snapshots of the great day we had downtown Knoxville.
The show itself was unforgettable. I've already seen The Avett Brothers once before, about a year and a half ago in a baseball field with my dad. That concert led to a great list of live music that I've now gotten to see: The Civil Wars, Beach House, Ingrid Michelson, and now I've come full circle to my favorite out of all of them. It was a really special treat to go to a live show with someone who I'm romantically involved with, especially because on the night we met, Patrick and I were in a car singing Avett songs at the top of our lungs with a few of our friends. Considering Patrick has said on numerous occasions how much my music taste intrigued him on that night, Avett Brothers songs will always hold a special place in our relationship.
There are many noteworthy moments from the set that they played, but I'd say without a doubt the most powerful for me was "Laundry Room". I went from crying tears of complete joy to jumping around like a madwoman when the tempo picks up. The crowd was pretty rowdy the whole night (in fact, Seth remarked on just how rowdy we were when playing "The Ballad of Love and Hate"), but we went completely crazy during that song (among others, to be sure). I have to admit I missed my favorites "November Blue",which I discovered when they performed it live in Townsend, and "A Father's First Spring", my favorite from their newest album, The Carpenter.
I love that their music appeals to such a wide demographic of people. We saw couples who had to be in their sixties alongside hipsters of every variety and good ol' boys in double denim and cowboy boots. I wouldn't have it any other way: the diverse crowd just attests to the staying power of one of the best bands in modern music.