Groupie in the making

August 25, 2008

I stand in the rain. The Avett Brothers are about to take the stage in Portland at the Oregon Zoo amphitheater. So miserable is the weather this night that wife and little son fled for home after the opening act.

Everyone is soaked and cold. While I wait, tunes from “Emotionalism” play in my head. Soon we’re jumping, crowded at the edge of the stage, invigorated by the Avetts’ energy that will keep me awake long after I’m home.

What’s the appeal? Not just their harmonizing twang tinged with rock and frenetic punk outbursts. Or their whiskey North Carolina drawls and plaintive lyrics. These boys are just flat out wired and unafraid to bare what’s roiling inside them.

I’m afraid to look at the rest of their tour schedule. I might bust out the Visa card and follow them, old-guy groupie who knows the lyrics and gets funny looks from the young hipsters when he sings along. Can’t help myself.