Last night I went to see the Avett Brothers play at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. It’s the fourth time I’ve seen them.
The first time was back in around 2009. I really liked this guy and I wanted to find a gig for us to go to. It was when folk music had exploded in a big way and I was really into this band called the Avett Brothers. I didn’t think he would ever have heard of them, but he said he had vaguely from his time living in California, so he agreed to come along. I don’t think either of us were expecting too much, but it was amazing – such lively, entertaining music, so much better live than on my little pink iPod Nano – and during one of the slower songs, the beautiful 'I And Love And You,' the boy I liked a lot put his arms around my waist and I remember staring up at the blue lights and thinking, if this is the best it ever gets, then this is pretty good.
Fast forward a year or so and we saw the Avett Brothers again, at the start of a long three day weekend, when both of us were working crappy jobs and the thought of so much time spent together seemed impossibly luxurious. This time we knew more of the songs and the sound was even better. We were right at the front and the crowd was completely crazy. During ‘I And Love And You,’ the boy I liked a lot put his arm around my waist and said ‘I love you,’ into my ear, for the very first time. We had nowhere to stay in London so slept on a floor in my friend’s bedroom in Mile End and that night he said it again and I thought, if this is the best it ever gets, this is pretty good.
And then we saw them again in 2012 when I’d moved to London and maybe this time we had expected too much, but still Scott Avett crowd surfed and we managed to get forward and touch his hair (because what else do you actually do when you reach someone crowd surfing?!) and afterwards we went out in Camden and had far too much to drink, and the boy I liked left his bag with all his worldly possessions in it on the train and when we got back to my Wandsworth apartment we argued crossly but afterwards, exhaustedly, we forgave each other and I realised we would always forgive each other, after all.
And last night I went to see the Avett Brothers with that boy, who I still like quite a lot. The Avett Brothers were as amazing as they have always been, if not better this time because we were both tired and a bit rundown and not really expecting to enjoy it as much as we used to. They have some new songs which I don’t know yet – I’ve been listening to a few on my Spotify today, I guess there’s always more to learn. Scott Avett jumped off the stage during ‘Kick Drum’ and played his guitar in the middle of the crowd, everyone was dancing, they played a song which actually involved yodelling - it was a brilliant setlist and I came out feeling young again! During ‘I And Love And You,’ the boy I liked a lot put his arm around my waist and said ‘I love you,’ into my ear. I guess it’s true, because he married me, after all.
And I looked into the blue of the lights and thought, if this is the best it ever gets – this is pretty good.