There's an indie music festival every year in a tiny town in the hills of southeastern Ohio. I found out LAST WEEK that the Avetts were playing, and I lost my head. It's a HUGE DEAL that they would play this festival, and I have no idea how it escaped my attention since I have a pretty large radar on them. I frantically tried to find a way to get last minute tickets, but they were a bit pricey and just not feasible at the moment. I was DEVASTATED. Yes, I just saw them 3 months ago, but they have a different set list every show, plus I couldn't miss an opportunity to breathe the same air as them. Since I haven't amped up the drama enough yet, their concert in March changed my life and I couldn't handle them being an hour away from me while I was stuck at home. The situation was dire. Possibly life and death. And that's not just a slight figure of speech. ba-dum-tsh
A friend at work felt bad and tried to win tickets for me on the radio. He called 58 times trying to get through, but he never did. I was sulking and trying to think of ways to brainwash myself so I would forget they would be nearby. And then Thursday morning, Kelsey told me that a girl on Facebook had an extra pair of tickets she was giving away. Just giving them away! Kelsey, being the amazing friend/fellow fangirl/internet troll that she is, told the girl I was interested. After several panicky hours waiting to hear back, the girl sent her the tickets. And Kelsey sent them to me. And thanks to her, I had FREE TICKETS TO SEE THE AVETT BROTHERS. FREE TICKETS. TO SEE MY FAVORITE BAND. I think I cried.
On Saturday, I put on my best pair of jorts, and James and I drove down to the music festival to see them, in the middle of the hills in the middle of nowhere, were no GPS will work. And yes, of course I ran into a coworker. And let me just say that music festival people are their own special breed. They're the people who buy the crop tops at Forever 21. They're the people who put their hand on your waist in line for the port-a-potty three times in a row no matter how many times you glare and step away. They're the people who try to wrangle their kids and get wasted at the same time. And not to mention that the girl next to James and me did some cocaine right in front of us. Thank you 9th grade health class for teaching me what to look out for.
We got there a couple hours early to see The Head and The Heart play first, and they were so good. They're a new love of mine, and I'm so glad we got the opportunity to see them. The Avetts didn't play till 10:30, which is way past my bedtime, but I was so hopped up on excitement I could've stayed up for several days in a row to see them.
When they came on, I lost it. I'm not just saying that. Alissa and Kelsey have witnessed my concert meltdowns more than once. It was an absolute Jesus Take the Wheel kind of moment.The majority of my life is spent making sure I don't draw attention to myself, but when I am in the presence of good music I lose all control and awareness and shame and I LET THE POWER OF THE MUSIC COMPEL ME. By that I mean I jump and scream a lot and flail my arms and sometimes I cry. And that night, due to being in the presence of my favorite band and the fact that it was midnight, I let loose more than ever before. I ditched James for a bit to venture closer to the front and I danced my heart out. You know the crazy person at every concert that everyone points at, who is in their own little bubble dancing and singing and completely vibing out? Saturday night I was that person. People watched me and I didn't care. I sang out at the top of my lungs. I tried not to play air banjo. I had to fight tears during every song, but I headbanged along with Seth. And when I wasn't doing that, I was recording it all on my phone with specialized commentary to send to Kelsey and Alissa, because it wasn't the same without them next to me to grab onto and scream with.
There was a drunk girl (actually everyone was drunk, but her more than most) next to me, and she sobbed during every song like she someone had just kicked her puppy and drowned her cat. I was completely sober, and even though we never really spoke, we formed a bond through our intense emotions, as you really couldn't tell the difference between us other than I still had the ability to stand without assistance. The set list was amazing. Seth's hair was top notch. Bob Crawford had a solo. They played Pretty Girl from Chile which is a song I had been dying to see live, and it completely undid me. It was the most amazing night, despite the secondhand pot smoke that made me dance a little freakier than normal. And it was so great to go with James, because he's extremely hard to impress with music, and he was blown away. I want to find the girl who gave those tickets away and squeeze her until her eyeballs pop out.
And maybe I have tickets to see them again in August, but whatever, I can't help it. The power of the music, it compels me. When I wasn't at the concert this weekend, I was nursing my concert hangover at the pool or sitting on the balcony listening to the Avetts, because in the words of Kelsey, I have limited interests.