I have to start this post out by giving mad props to both the Avett Brothers and their fans for raising over $20,000 for fire relief at the show last night. All they did was have a few volunteers carry boots around the crowd to collect money for the relief efforts and the people in the crowd really stepped it up. It’s kind of incredible what a crowd of people can do. They are playing Red Rocks again tonight and I’m sure they’ll pass the boots around again and hopefully they’ll collect as much as that or more. With the fires burning in this state, lord knows the funds are needed.
It was another beautiful night at Red Rocks, despite (or perhaps enhanced by) a little rain. There is something about a nice downpour that kind of adds to an outdoor show especially when it’s been as dry as it has here. Granted I wouldn’t really want a torrential downpour that soaks you to the bone but 10 to 15 minutes of nice refreshing rain can really make you feel good. Plus it adds to the people watching available at a show as a lot of folks really freak out when it rains. This is Red Rocks show three of five this summer. That’s a lot of Red Rocks shows in one year, though given who I’m seeing there, I would have gone to these shows even without my 52 concert quest.
There was a wedding proposal during City and Colour’s set. It was the second wedding proposal of my concert going quest. I can’t remember if I talked about the one that happened during Trampled by Turtles or not. This one was a little different because it took place in the crowd not on the stage and the band wasn’t aware of it. It was kind of great because there was this ripple effect that happened in the crowd. The guy got down on one knee to propose and a few people around the couple stood up and cheered. This drew the attention of a few more people, then a few more, and before you knew it everyone was on their feet. She said yes. The band congratulated them, mid song no less. It was awesome. If I remember correctly their names were Wyatt and Kelly, though I might have her name wrong. In any case, I don’t know you guys and odds are you’ll never read this but, congratulations.
City and Coulor had a sound that really worked for me. They had nice Alt Country sensibilities with smooth soulful vocals. On of their songs even ventured into R&B territory. That song was more electric than the ones that had come before it and while it wasn’t fully R&B the vocals took gave it a bit of that flavour (that’s right I spelled it Canadian style). Really, in case you couldn’t tell, I was blown away by this guy’s voice. It was just simple, crisp, clear, and soulful. He carried these songs and mad them better than they otherwise would have been. Of course I think part of that is because many of the songs were personal to him so he put a lot of passion into them.
None of that is to say that the songs were bad, or poorly written and carried solely by the vocals. On the contrary their songs were lyrically complex and well written. Overall these guys were really damn good. So this make for another opener I’m glad I’ve seen and I’m now a fan of. Seriously people, I know it’s not hip to get places early but you’re missing out on a lot of exceptional music if you only show up for the headliners at shows.
It seems that City and Color is often just one man, I can’t find any videos with the band set up they had last night so I’m just going to post a solo video.
In a lot of ways I consider the Avett Brothers to be my gateway grass. I had a little alt country listening under my belt in Wilco when I started listening to the Avett Brothers and at first I was not that into that bluegrass sound they put out. It felt less alt and more country to me and I have this natural aversion to country music. What I came to realize as I listened though was that it’s not the country sound that I hate it’s the cheesy and terrible pop country lyrics. The America and pick up truck glorifying country that my parents listen to has never been for me, but the Avetts aren’t that. They are heart felt and passionate and moving. Their lyrics are honest and they cut to your very core. Once I understood where my distaste lied my musical world opened up. Were it nor for the Avett Brothers I don’t know that I ever would have listened to Trampled by Turtles or any of the other alt country and bluegrass bands that I do. They broke down that wall simply by making music that they love.
This is the fourth time I’ve seen The Avett Brothers and the third time I’ve seen them at Red Rocks. They’ve grown an insane amount in popularity since I started listening to them and that’s because they are incredible at what they do. They are just one of those band that pours everything they have into their shows. Every ounce of energy and emotion is emptied out, distilled and granted to the audience in the form of beautiful music. And what energy they have too. Sometimes it seem that the two of them never stop moving, the band and instrument configuration changes from song to song sometimes it’s just the two of them, sometimes it’s the full band but it’s always, always incredible.
I also want to give a quick and specific shout out to Joseph Kwon he’s the Avet Brothers cellist and he is likely the most energetic cellist on the planet. I swear he never puts the thing down. I think every other cellist I’ve ever seen in a a band sits in a chair but now Kwon. He carries it all over the stage playing all the while. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen and it’s always a joy to watch him do his thing.
They are playing at Red Rocks again tonight and sadly I’m not going. If I wasn’t doing the 52 concert thing I really might have gone to both shows but Red Rocks can be cost prohibitive. If there is any band I’d want to see two nights in a row it would probably be The Avett Brothers because they have enough material and vary what they do so much that you’ll never see the same show twice. Another great thing about them is that they aren’t afraid to play things from their back catalog before they hit it big. I think Emotionalism was their break through album, the one that started to launch them toward stardom but they still play the older songs, the ones a lot of the crow isn’t that familiar with and I love them for it.
It seems that I always end these posts by recommending that you seen who I’ve seen but seriously you owe it to yourself to see The Avett Brothers live. It’s hard to find people that care this much and give this much of themselves to what they do. I know there are a lot of passionate musicians out there but The Avett Brothers are as, or more, passionate than any of them and each of their performances is unique and moving. So see them, seriously, see them.
These two songs were the highlight of the show for me last night:
And one I’ve been waiting to hear them play for years: