The Avett Brothers

Cheyenne Events presents

The Avett Brothers

Tuesday 9/18

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

Cheyenne Civic Center

$68.00 - $98.00

The Avett Brothers
The Avett Brothers
SCOTT AND SETH AVETT were born in Cheyenne, WY and Charlotte, N.C. (respectively) and raised in Concord, North Carolina. They began with dreams of rock/pop stardom (Scott) and astronaut adventures (Seth). Eventually, they abandoned those dreams for the more attainable goals of folk and old-time stardom, and ultimately, abandoned these dreams for the even less likely dream of making a living playing original songs for people. These dreams were made exponentially more lofty by the sheer bad-ness of their earliest compositions. As fate and ignorance would have it, the brothers were not aware of the vast room for improvement their early songs provided, and so felt the need to proudly share them with anyone who would listen, or anyone who would not listen. They grew up on a small hobby farm, grumbling often over the fact that they had never seen the likes of Hall & Oates, David Lee Roth, or El DeBarge anywhere near a pasture or a chicken house. They received piano lessons from a woman named Karen, guitar from a man named Nelson, and banjo from a man named Ned (all of the talented Concord, NC-based Mullis family). They recorded song ideas on cassette tapes and thought a lot about themselves and the world they lived in (in that order). They discovered pop music, rock music, American roots music. In high school, they played soccer and performed in the yearly talent show, believing both to be the world stage. Each studied visual arts in college, while still thinking a lot about themselves and the world they lived in. They eventually found themselves in a band together, Nemo, and went about the task of global rock-and-roll domination. Alas, the world was not ready to be rock-and-roll dominated (by them anyway), and while the band was destined to disband, the takeaway was substantial, with valuable results including a bold 5-song EP, experience on the stage, and lessons in commitment and communication aplenty.

Around the turn of the millennium, the brothers finally wrote their first few halfway decent guitar/banjo-based songs, and celebrated this victory by imposing their muppet-like energy upon unsuspecting coffee shop and bar-room patrons across the state (mainly just in Concord and Charlotte though, really). Around this time, BOB CRAWFORD came out of the woodwork. He was a man full of vim and vigor, natural ingenuity, humor, and good will. He was also a natural born hustler, though slightly weary of the everyday hustle. It had, up to that point, included (but absolutely was not limited to) selling shoes, fronting various bands, working 20-hour shifts on movie sets, taking girls on dates in a 1972 4-door Chevy Impala, and selling grilled cheese sandwiches in the parking lot of Grateful Dead shows. Throughout his life, music had called, enthralled, and entranced him. It would ultimately lead him to taking countless road trips, a second college degree, and independent study in the thousands of hours. Crawford had migrated south from New Jersey in search of new beginnings, truthful folk music, a job on a film crew, and possibly, a decent cup of coffee. He eventually found each, though not without some struggles. One of the first would be in convincing Scott and Seth that a viable career in music would not magically show up at the front door, merely because they had wished for it and written multiple drafts of their eventual Grammy Award acceptance speeches.

Crawford felt, bizarrely to the brothers, that in order to pursue a life in music, a person had to actually go out and play music. They took his word for it, albeit with a good deal of suspicion. They then recorded Country Was in two days in their dad’s workshop/garage, surrounded by sawdust-covered fishing rods and tackle boxes, stacks of 1980’s country LPs, a drill press, and various tools bought at the flea market. The now trio went to work booking their first tour, using landline telephones, the U.S. Postal Service, and the still somewhat novel medium of electronic mail to pester ‘music venue’ owners into either booking The Avett Brothers or telling The Avett Brothers to leave them the hell alone (the latter response took less pestering than the former). The result was a run of shows throughout the southeast and east coast regions – 14 shows over 21 days. Coming from the limited performing experience of basically playing Charlotte over and over again since they were teenagers, for the brothers, this tour might as well have been Homer’s ‘Odyssey,’ complete with rhyming, celebrations, frustrations, earth-shattering realizations, challenges overcome, and sirens. Unlike the ‘Odyssey,’ there were (fortunately) no cycloptic villains, slaying of suitors, six-headed monsters, or verses written in dactylic hexameter. It may bear mentioning that later, like Odysseus, they would be very happy to reach Ithaca (New York, not the Greek island). Everything was changed after that first tour – it set wheels in motion that are still turning. Each new place made a lasting impression, and in doing so, ensured their imminent return and hopeful building of a relationship with that town. Time passed. Songs happened. An unlimited variety of settings found their way into the performing history of The Avett Brothers. They played in most of the fifty states, at parks and in parking lots, bluegrass festivals and middle schools, 5-in-the-morning local TV news shows, corporate events in big white tents, weddings and memorial services, Mexican restaurants, rock clubs, open mics, house concerts, a Super Bowl party at a bar-b-cue restaurant (”we’ll still pay ya’ll but can you stop playing so we can hear the game?”...”uh, sure”).

Ultimately, The Avett Brothers joined together to present songs about experiences that they as humans have known to humans who know what they mean. Subject matters are tragic, joyful and inexhaustible. They sing and play often, as long as they are not too busy walking around the mall, changing kid’s diapers, buying coffee, making coffee, washing dishes, going to the mountains, going to the beach, taking a run, moving into a different house or apartment, visiting St. Jude, producing a record, talking before thinking, nursing thought-induced headaches, getting married, getting divorced, falling in love, falling out of the top bunk, building cardboard spaceships, complaining about whatever there is to complain about, painting, planting a doomed garden, befriending a rabbit in the backyard, getting the truck inspected, watching Doc Watson on YouTube, paying a small fortune for an old book about how to play the banjo, counting blessings, forgetting blessings, going to the Fischl exhibition, going to the Estes exhibition, building a dining room table, making a podcast, teaching children how to fiddle, petitioning a governor, practicing an instrument that they’re already supposed to be good at, making a print, making a mess, taking kids to church, taking kids to school, taking kids to soccer practice, cleaning up after kids, laughing in the kitchen, sending flowers, pacing in the waiting room, thinking it over, talking it out, watching it go, or leaving it be.
Venue Information:
Cheyenne Civic Center
510 W. 20th Street
Cheyenne, WY, 82001
http://www.cheyenneciviccenter.org/