This past Thursday night the Avett Brothers began a three night concert series in the beautifully restored Peabody Opera House and I was able to attend with three of my very best friends. We were going to celebrate Kyle’s birthday and Dave had very generously bought tickets for us all. What a gift. It was an energetic evening of rock and roots, an evening of emotions both quiet and raucous, all worn upon on plaid sleeves, on stage and in the seats. We were a little ways away but the every word and chord carried clearly up to where we were.
I must confess that I am a relatively new fan of the band, but The Carpenter spent a good many months spinning in my car’s CD player, was given to my brother and rotated on Spotify by me for a long while. And after this concert I have plans to delve into all the albums I have not heard as yet. They have a lot to say that is worth hearing about the joy and challenges of life, about the struggle. Indeed I said to my friends that I feel that if the Book of Ecclesiastes or King Solomon were to have a house band, the Avett Brother’s just might fit the bill.
On Sunday night I had just left Target and was headed over to Kyle’s house to finish off the birthday weekend with even more friends and dessert. While I waited for some folks to pass to go into the store, I checked out the demographic make-up of the group and thought to myself, “Hey, they must be Wash U students…No, wait a minute, that is the Avett Brothers and Joe Kwon and a friend!” I parked the car and and rummaged around for a pen and something to write on, and my hat and a big fat magic marker presented themselves as an ideal and creative solution.
I caught up with Scott Avett and Joe in electronics and tried as best I could to gauge whether they would be too tired to humor me, but how does one judge these things anyway, so I just politely asked. And, yes, literally, they turned out to be the nicest guys in Target. The electronics guy was pretty nice, too, and took this picture.
And so I learned first hand that they had played different sets each night with about only 5 songs overlapping and that it was pretty much a three night party in the Lou, which they are planning to replicate a couple of other places this summer. Scott was so cool and made conversation and asked me if I was a long time St. Louisan, told me I should come out to Red Rocks to see them again, and signed my hat for my friend Kyle, as did Joe Kwon and Seth, who I tracked down in Housewares, while the friend he was with very kindly held his coffee. I am a bit clueless and did not pay very close attention to the friend or else I may have felt inclined to get her signature, too, but that was not really what I was after, in any case, and had the good sense not to ask for a picture.
In the aftermath of such mind-whirring events, you think of things that you wished you might have asked or said, such as expressing appreciation for a particular song or taking the time to talk more to the awesome cellist Joe about his playing or asking if you could come shoot one of their concerts (kidding) 🙂 (kind of), but all in all the encounter pretty much hit the sweet spot and was the perfect bookend to an Avett Brother’s birthday weekend. What a gift, indeed, that I was able to both receive and to give.
I could not be happier to be able to give up this one hat from my collection for this reason, and will be just as happy to hunt in the thrift stores for another one like it.