Avett Brothers, August 26, 2009
This was somehow my first time finally seeing the Avett Brothers, I'd heard so much about them for years. These guys from North Carolina showed up with more equipment than we'd been told, which made engineer Rocky and I nervous at first because that sometimes comes with an attitude from an accompanying stage manager. It ended up being nothing but pleasant, no egos or demands from this band. If anything, they just couldn't wait to have fun. People from North Carolina are cool, just ask my friend from North Carolina-she'll be the first to tell you! Songs were sung, guitar strings were broken, the cello player got so excited that his glasses flew off onto the floor. He was even MORE excited when he saw we had salt vinegar potato chips with the sandwiches provided at the session! They talked about songwriting on computers being misleading, since you write in fragments and think you're done with something but instead walk away from several unfinished songs. They coined the word "anti-productive," which they loved then using several times during the interview. The show at the Knitting Factory was packed, people danced when they watched, danced when they ordered, danced when they served... they danced. The Avett Brothers humor and genuine lyrics seemed to touch everyone. They often sing of spirituality, the crowd reacting with great feedback when they sang about the bible and said "What's right for me may not be right for you," then admit they use curse words when they pray. They write a lot of songs about "Pretty girls in..." (fill in the blank), here is their song about Pretty Girls in San Diego. You can hear a guitar string break, be replaced, and rejoin in the sloppy, offbeat, drunken middle break of the tune. The video below captures the softer side of the Avett Brothers, if you've not seen them yet make a point to next time and bring some friends, because no one left early!