My friend Chinwe and I always hit up a concert at Wolf Trap every summer. This year we got it in right at the beginning of the season. The Avett Brothers played three nights in a row doing three different sets. There were a couple of songs they played every night, but the majority of the sets were different. We originally planned to go to the Saturday night show because getting to Wolf Trap on a weeknight during rush hour is a bear. It was nice to finally have a show that we wanted to go to fall on a weekend when the traffic presumably wouldn’t be nearly as bad, although you never can tell with the DC Beltway. Unfortunately we didn’t get our act together soon enough and all the lawn seats were gone for both the Friday and Saturday shows by the time we bought our tickets, so we wound up going Thursday.
Paleface, who was I was not previously familiar with, was the first opening act and played all three nights. His music reminded me of a combination of 60s psychedelic music crossed with surf music. It was interesting to listen to, but it’s not something I’ll probably seek out further.
The second opening act was different for each night. On Thursday, it was Rodney Crowell. I know Rodney Crowell is a country legend, but I really couldn’t have named you a single song of his, and I also didn’t recognize anything he played. I really enjoyed it all though. It was a the perfect music to sit outside and listen to on a beautiful night. I am happy that we wound up going Thursday and seeing him because I think I’m happier with him than I would have been with Thao and the Get Down, Stay Down or The Felice Brothers who were opening the other nights.
Having now looked at the setlist for all the nights, I am bummed we didn’t get to go Saturday and not just because the almost 2 hours it took us to get there would have probably been cut in half. I was very happy that The Avett Brothers played “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise”, “Ain’t No Man”, and “No Hard Feelings” at our show, but they also played all three of those songs on Saturday in addition to “I and Love and You” and “Murder in the City” which I also would have loved to hear. Oh well, I guess you can’t have everything. The show we saw was still excellent. The Avett Brothers are a lot of fun. I also don’t understand how their cello player is not in intense pain after every show given that he just hoists the cello neck up on his shoulder with the cello sticking out in front of him and plays like that. This was the first time I’ve actually seen The Avett Brothers play their own show and not just part of a set at The Newport Folk Festival. I would definitely go see them again. Happily I still have more shows at Wolf Trap to look forward to this summer. I have tickets to at least two more shows and who knows maybe I’ll go to something else if I get ambitious.