"What the heck?" the exasperated concert goer exclaimed as she raced up next to me to get a view of the mid-set Avett Brothers. "I thought they were the headliners. I missed them." Well she didn't miss them, she still had another solid half hour of the eclectic North Carolina band The Avett Brothers including their hot song "I And I Love You." but she wasn't the only one who attended Friday's Avett Brothers/Gov't Mule show thinking they'd find this blowing-up band on the top of the bill.
In fact, after the Avett Brothers concluded, I saw dozens of folks packing up their low-rider chairs and picnic gear and heading down the mountain. Maybe it was just the setting sun and the impending moutain chill, but I suspect that after the killer set the Avett Brothers laid down they were thinking, "well it don't get much better than that, might as well quit while I'm ahead." and packed it in.
Going in cold, as I was, I was blown away by the Avett's eclectic range and seemingly limitless ability to pull not-so obscure) pop, country and rock influences into their performance. One minute I'm thinking these guys sound like a rockabilly Queen, the next the Stones, the next Del Mccoury, the next the Beatles. It sounds like musical stone soup, but it works mainly backed up by the Avett's boyish enthusiasm and charm (also solid picking chops).
Gov't Mule, by comparison put up a solid show, of their bluesy Allman Brothers Meet-Widespread Panic jam band action. But, and maybe this had more to do with the cold and my dread of impending Fall, it seemed leaden after the levity of the opening act. Sorry Gov't Mule. You got served.
Finally, it was a pleasure to close out the D.V. season with such a lively show. I want to continue to applaud the Deer Valley organizers for their enlightened picnicking policy that proves, once again, if you treat people like adults, they act like adults.
BONUS: I tried out one of D.V's ogurmet Picnic baskets (which you can totally pick up in the show!). Cheese, meat, wine, fresh-baked bread (the artichokes were a little tough to eat but everything else was awesome.) And you don't need a concert to get one, you can order one anytime for a hike or walk or just a picnic you don't have to plan. Bring your own ants.