The first of our 2016 summer concerts came and went recently.
This one was odd for us as neither my wife nor I were too familiar with the performers, Grace Potter who opened for the Avett Brothers:
Not that I’m opposed to checking out new music live or anything… it’s just that the performers who tend to come to our venues are usually, let’s just say, known quantities.
And honestly, due to occasional Pandora, T.V. or Satellite exposure, I’d managed to become minimally acquainted with these artists. In fact, the hook that enticed me to this show was seeing Grace Potter perform as part of a tribute concert “Love For Levon” a few years back:
I was gobsmacked! So when this show was announced there was no doubt that I was going!
Ms. Potter’s opening set was short-ish with a great mix of her pop, radio friendly songs and jam band excess. She does not exude the demure singer/songwriter vibe (although I’m sure she could pull that off as well). She was pure superhero!
The greatest critique I can give Grace Potter is that my wife went in a skeptic and emerged at the break as a fan!
The bulk of the crowd, though, was there to see The Avett Brothers.
For years now I’ve shied away from those bands. You know the type… bushy beards, ironic mustaches, old-timey clothes and the like. The thing is, I don’t know why? There was a time in my life when I couldn’t get enough of roots music… whether it was the Will The Circle Be Unbroken of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band introducing me to the giants of bluegrass, Jerry Jeff Walker singing me a story or the quirky music and vocals of Iris Dement, any group playing acoustic instruments and singing earnest lyrics had my ear.
So I’d totally missed ascension Avett and their high energy, bluegrass-infused pop-punk.
The first thing I noticed was that this was a pretty big band! Brothers Scott and Seth on banjo and guitar center stage, bass, keys and drums stage right and center and an acrobatic string duo… cello and fiddle stage left. The second thing I noticed was the crowd… they went nuts as the band fired up! This was going to be a standing show for sure. And the next thing was those harmonies! Two voices melting together that only siblings can manage.
So, here it was me that came a skeptic and left a fan. Their lyrics seem truly sincere and the plainspoken poetry of their songs really came across as heartfelt. We picked up some records as mementos of the evening and have been listening to them regularly since.
So, is there any new music on your summer schedule?