Sunday, August 22, 2010

the avett-cation

alicia, ginger, georgie, sandy

What started out as "Girls' Weekend" somehow became "Girls' Weekend with Doug Driving". I'm not sure exactly how I got talked into this, but I had sworn off concert going in large venues and informally declared myself too old for standing in a crowded room for hours. I tried to get a couple of guys to come with me so I wouldn't feel quite so out of place but both of them were better decision makers than I.

So. The Avett Brothers were playing 3 nights in a row at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach. I love the Avetts, but I really love the beach and that surely had something to do with my decision to tag along. We all understood we were too old to drive 4 1/2 hours to see a concert and then turn around and drive back home so this trip would mean a mini-vacation. Ginger secured a place to stay and we all signed on.

We headed out Friday morning - at least I think it was still morning after Ginger temporarily lost sight of her car keys and we had to do a bit of backtracking. But let's not dwell on that, right Ginger? Sandy met us for a nice lunch in Columbia and then we piggy backed the rest of the trip to the coast. Sandy was one of our newer Avett converts but on this trip it was Alicia who had never seen the Brothers live.

These shows were sold out in advance and we had no interest in camping out in the August sun all day to get up front, so we accepted the fact that we'd hang out near the back of the auditorium. This freed us up to take our time getting there. We had a nice dinner after the thoughtful gentleman of the group got completely soaked in a summer downpour trying to get the ladies a better place to eat. It's OK, I'm not bitter. But we took our time and cruised into the House of Blues after the doors opened and walked right in with no wait. Then it was a short walk to an open area just a few feet from the stage. We were in luck and we were feeling pretty good about how things worked out.

And then things got better. When the Brothers took the stage, they were in good form. They always give off a ton of energy but Friday night they were outdoing themselves. The setlist was great, the room was electric, and the sound was amazing. There were even a couple of stagedives.
scott surfing on the pit-dwellers
joe comes to the rescue
and he's back on stage
There's no way to describe an Avett concert to someone who's never experienced it. Banjo, cello, upright bass, crowd surfing, screaming, and family values all somehow mingle together into an experience for the eyes, ears and mind. I could tell you it was wonderful or amazing or awesome and it just wouldn't communicate the experience.
I mean, how do you describe a classically trained cellist and and upright bassist rocking out this hard? Whatever it is that these guys give off in their's contagious. It makes even the most stoic concert goers sing along and sway to the beat.
And apparently it makes people want to come back. And I mean....come back the very next night.
Ginger has done this before and I've mocked her pretty hard about it. There's no way you could get me to go see the same band two nights in a row. Just like there's no way you could get me to tag along on Girls' Weekend.
Alicia and Sandy had to see them again. We explained the shows were sold out and while they might be able to get one ticket or maybe two, there's no way we would be able to get five tickets to a sold out show. Especially not a couple of hours before the show started.
In less than five minutes Alica and Sandy hopped back to the car with five tickets and some leftover cash. We're still not certain how this happened but we just figured our luck was still working for us. We grabbed an even better dinner and walked on over to the House of Blues again right at the same time we'd arrived the night before. We figured we'd walk right in without waiting and everything would be the same.

We figured wrong. This was the line in front of us waiting to get in. The other half of the line ran in front of the building and there were at least as many people in line behind us. I was starting to think I was too old for this again.
Still, once the line started moving we got in relatively fast and once again we walked right up to the corner of the stage and got even better standing spots than the night before. But my knees did hurt and my feet were aching and I was seriously considering buying one of those little motorized scooters like you see in Walmart to transport me around for the rest of our weekend.

Saturday's show did not match the level of greatness of Friday's show. Sure, it was still great and you'd have to call it a wonderful concert by anyone's standards. There was even a moment when Georgie was jumping up and down to the music and that almost never happens. These guys leave nothing in the tank when they perform and their efforts are appreciated.

Just look at that expression on Ginger's face during the show. I realize it's a fake smile, but Ginger hates it when I take her photo and under normal circumstances she would have hid her face. Here though, in her preferred environment, she's enjoying herself too much to waste any effort on me.

A few odds and ends:
1. Sandy embraced the laws of physics and chemistry and managed to get a bottle of wine to explode inside her car. If she gets pulled over in the next few months she's guaranteed to get a field sobriety test.
2. Apparently when Girls' Weekend involves going to the beach this does not actually mean the girls will ever really see a beach.
3. If you are talked into tagging along on aforementioned Girls' Weekend with promises of actually going to the beach, you will end up following 4 ladies around at the factory outlet stores instead of putting your toes in the sand.
4. Should you ever get the chance to road trip with someone who owns a restaurant and bakes chocolate chip cookies on a daily basis...this is something you should certainly do. They will bring cookies and you will enjoy them.


Austin S. Turner said...

sounds like a blast :)

ps. i saw hanson perform at that house of blues in high school, the highlight of my high school career, ha.

e-sketchbook said...

now i've got "mmmmmbop" stuck in my head!