a night with the brothers

Please excuse me while I use this blog post to have a giant moment. I'm on a concert high and I expect to stay on it for the next 27 years. The Avett Brothers, as you know, are my favorite band on the planet and all other planets. I've been jamming to them since 2008 when they were still mostly unknown outside North Carolina and their dad used to play gigs in the bars around town (which I was invited to but turned down and will REGRET IT FOREVER). I saw them twice in 2014, once in NYC with Alissa and Kelsey, and once at a music festival in southern Ohio. I was supposed to see them two more times that August, but I was freshly pregnant and in the hospital from throwing up too much just days before, so I had to miss them and I've never gotten over it.

Well. Saturday night MORE than made up for it. Kelsey and Alissa drove west from New York, I drove north, and we converged in Toledo. James and Gracie came with me so I wouldn't have to trek alone, and we made a little family vacation out of it. Being reunited with Kelsey and Alissa was too much. The last time I saw them, I was on my way to my first ultrasound two years ago as they were about to drive home. This year, we hugged and hugged and then hugged some more. We couldn't stop hugging. It was so nice to actually stand up and converse like a normal human being instead of being holed up in bed with barf bags. I haven't had so much fun in who knows how long next to visiting Sarah. It's the first time I've been able to go off and do something fun like this since Gracie was born. WAY OVERDUE. The night was a perfect slice of heaven where the stars aligned and it felt like life was everything it should be.

Before the show, the three of us sat and each listed the songs we wanted them to play. THEY PLAYED ALL OF MY FAVORITE SONGS. EVERY ONE. Especially Offering. They played Offering. The second it started, Kelsey and Alissa screamed and grabbed me because they KNEW I've been waiting years for this moment. We screamed so loud the surrounding rows of people turned around to stare at us. I first heard that song while driving through the mountains of West Virginia with my mom in October 2008 during my college fall break. The setting matched the song perfectly, and we were both struck by how sweet the lyrics are. Never did I think that 8 years later I would see it live, sandwiched between two of my favorite people I had yet to meet, while my own guitar-playing North Carolina boy waited for me in the hotel room with our baby. It was one of those rare moments in life where everything made sense.

Our seats were front and center. A dream. We were so close we could hear them singing and talking off-mic. It was especially convenient as I could whisper-shout sweet nothings at them and I knew they could hear me. I am typically reserved and quiet, but put me at a concert and I become the most extroverted loudmouth you've ever seen. At one point, I made a noise after a particularly good musical moment, and Alissa incredulously looked at Kelsey and asked "Was that you?" I laughed as Kelsey quickly said "No! That was Michelle! It's always Michelle." That's a perfect summation of what it's like to go to a concert with me. The good thing is, they get it. We each hold each other up during our favorite songs. We collectively lose our minds together. There's no one else I would've wanted to share this night with, and I cannot wait to do it again.


  1. OH MICHELLE. I knew I was going to cry about this. I even warned myself. I still wasn't ready.

    Not to sound dramatic, but I'm going to-- this is everything. We had such a beautiful week seeing new places and new people and hearing new songs- but for me, nothing made me happier than being in an old place, with an old friend, hearing our favorite old songs. I just-- can't describe the feeling. You articulated it so much better than I ever could.

    Concert Michelle is one of my favorite Michelles, honestly. All of my videos are 90% Avett and 10% Michelle background commentary. It is a lot of heavy sighing, some squealing, and a handful of "THEY'RE RIGHT THERE!". I wouldn't have it any other way.

    I couldn't love you more if I tried, Shells!!! So glad we had our night together!!!

  2. "HE'S RIGHT THERE!!" - you re: Justin Timberlake, 2013
    "THEY ARE RIGHT THERE!!!" - you re: the bros, 2016


    Ugh, I can't even tell you how many times Kelsey and I said to each other, "I can't wait to see Michelle!" Honestly-- it was the perfect ending to a great week. I couldn't have asked for anything better!

    And I'm so so so happy you got to hear all of the songs you wanted to hear! It's like they knew and created the set list just for you.

    brb while I got back and read your post about Brooklyn because it's one of my faves ever. UGHH. ALL THE FEELS. SO MANY. MISS YOU SO MUCH ALREADY.

  3. This is so awesome... even though I'm admitting to you right now I didn't know who they were until reading some of your posts. Officially have "Offering" on repeat now though so thank you :) I cracked up at reading about concert Michelle- so glad you got to have an amazing night out with friends!!

  4. Isn't seeing one of your favorite bands in concert just amazing?!! Two years ago when Caleb surprised me with One Republic concert tickets and they played our song I absolutely FREAKED OUT and the girls next to us were probably terrified. Who cares?! You're allowed to be a fan girl! ;) so glad you got out of the house and had a great time!!! Yay!

  5. the offering was my wedding song :) i am seeing them at the end of the month too !

  6. I'm so glad you had fun! I don't listen to that band but I am very familiar with concerts :P I just got home from a 3 day concert extravaganza! I'm not as loud as you :P But I love that you come out of your shell at a show!

  7. Oh my gosh, I love your description of the concert and your friendships and just your reactions in general :) There's something SO AWESOME about going to a concert with friends and letting go of everything and just appreciating that very moment!

  8. So fun! Glad you had such a good time and what a fun little family vacation too! Perfect.

  9. What a blast! I cannot believe how close you were!! That is amazing!! My sister and I went to see Switchfoot a few years ago and we were in the second row and she FREAKED out. There's nothing better than that!

  10. Oh, and what a night it was! Happy for you.

  11. I have Avett Brothers on my Pandora station now! I hadn't heard of them before, but I like them!


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