The Avett Brothers (Outlaw Field – Boise) – 9/20/18

After missing their summer 2017 show in Nampa, there was no way I was going to miss out on this one.

There is something magical about the setting for a show at Outlaw Field at the Old Pen & Botanical Gardens in Boise.  With the beauty of the foothills, the jagged cliffs of Table Rock, and the botanical gardens themselves; the history and palpable sadness of the old penitentiary; and the ever-present summer sunset, the music can fairly be judged as icing on the cake.

The Avett Brothers may be fairly mainstream these days, but they definitely have a massive cult following. Very soon after this show was announced this spring, the ~4,000 tickets vanished.  Broker sites had some available, but you were going to pay considerably more than the $50 list price to get in.  Thankfully, I scooped up a pair for my brother and I right away.  A few of my buddies were able to score tickets from a second ticket release a few weeks before the show, and so the group of us went to see what all the fuss is about.

To say that Scott and Seth Avett are talented is a gross understatement.  They seem to effortlessly glide from guitars to banjos to piano, never sounding anything less than fantastic.  They can spin a yarn that will make you want to cry (see “Murder in the City”, “When I Drink”, or “I And Love And You”), they can make you dance and giggle (see “Smithsonian” or “Divorce Separation Blues”), and they can even jam a little bit now and again (see “Kick Drum Heart” or the last minute-plus of “Laundry Room”).  Over the course of 2 ½ hours and 25 songs, the folks lucky enough to attend were treated to one of the finest evenings in Boise live music in 2018.  Not only was the weather absolutely perfect, and the sunset incredible, the music lived up to the considerable hype.

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No opening band for this one, the boys had it under control all on their own.  They opened up with a couple of more obscure tracks (“Die, Die, Die” and “Living of Love”) before settling in to their latest hit single, “A’int No Man”.  They then played another sequence of lesser-known songs in what would be a theme of the evening: this setlist was not heavy on their hits, but was very obviously what they wanted to play.  For someone like myself who is not a die-hard fan, it made keeping track of the playlist a bit difficult, but I was up to the challenge as you can see below, dear reader.

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Oh, and as for my brother, who showed up a bit late and got through the long line and into the venue after the music had started?  Well, he found me immediately without the help of a text or call.  He went right where he knew he would find me: right in front of the stage.  Well done! And although he was only treated to two songs from his favorite album The Carpenter (“Live and Die” and “February Seven”), he had himself a blast.

 

Setlist:

Die Die Die

Living of Love

A’int No Man

Left on Laura, Left on Lisa

Talk on Indolence

Satan Pulls the Strings

Paranoia in B Major

Smithsonian

Famous Flower of Manhattan

Divorce Separation Blues

Murder in the City

February Seven

You Are Mine

True Sadness

Salina

I And Love And You

Kick Drum Heart

I Wish I Was

I Would Be Sad

Souls Like the Wheels

Laundry Room

Live and Die

Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise

Lucky Stranger (The Modern Don Juans cover)

No Hard Feelings

 

Spotify playlist link:

https://open.spotify.com/user/1217400912/playlist/4zbYP1DyvYlAHKwqeMrciC?si=0qd3pfkZT2mnDGF6ofQ9iw

 

My “Best of The Avett Brothers” playlist link:

https://open.spotify.com/user/1217400912/playlist/3uaazMV3kRAMQ4ulwHYJDe?si=h4T_Fd2HQaOJ3Q0xWy2EYQ