The last time I was at the Belly Up I high fived a hipster. The results were fascinating and hilarious; I came out after the show to see my â€œvictimâ€ sitting on a ledge outside being consoled by his girlfriend.
â€œIt was a good show though, right baby?â€ she said with a hopeful and worried tone.
He responded with his head hung low, â€œYeah it was okay…I just canâ€™t believe that guy high fived me.â€
I had apparently ruined the guyâ€™s life. I spent the car ride home making obnoxious phone calls at 1am telling my friends the story of the wounded hipster. Why the hell did I high five him anyways? The moment had come right after Built to Spill finished an extended version of â€œRandy Described Eternityâ€ and I was in heaven. It was one of those concert moments that I live for; it felt like there was no way anybody in the audience could have been on any level other than the one I was on: pure stupid bliss.
I turned around to share some love with my fellow concertgoers and I guess I ruined his night when my hand connected with his in mid-air. That type of person, the type that lets whatever their current idea of cool is get in the way of having a genuinely good time, thatâ€™s a douchebag right there. Thatâ€™s the kind of guy who makes me want to throw away all my cardigans and sweet-ass old Western-style shirts forever.
Had I gotten the urge to throw up a high five at any of the people around me at the Avett Brothers show Sunday at the Belly Up, I think it would have been greeted with a hearty and welcoming slap of a hand and a goofy ass smile in tow. The amount of love the audience showed the Avetts was insane. I felt pretty bad for The Magnolia Electric Company, who opened with a set of modest, rich, and straightforward alt-country. The audience was respectful but ultimately underwhelmed, which became apparent as the place went ape shit for the Avetts’ arrival on stage. Wow. Really, San Diego? I didnâ€™t know you had it in you. I was under the impression from your radio stations that all you really loved listening to was Social Distortion, Bob Marley, Sublime, and Linkin Park.
I was happily surprised, and so proud to be part of an audience that showed such love to this group of vibrant, happy, sincere, and hyper young men. I wish going to shows in San Diego was always like this, but sadly itâ€™s not. Iâ€™ve seen Andrew Bird play to a group of noisy and disrespectful teenagers. Iâ€™ve seen a fight break out at a Flaming Lips show. I once sat stunned as one of my favorite musicians, Glen Phillips, got heckled by a bunch of dead-behind-the-eyes, stupidly stoned surfers waiting for their cutesy hack of a hero Jack Johnson to play his shitty songs. Suffice it to say that, when my favorite bands have come to town, Iâ€™ve been more ashamed than proud of my San Diego residency. This time was different though; this time was good. And the Avetts ate it up.
They played flawlessly for over two hours, reaching deep into their surprisingly big discography. Until seeing them live I was under the impression that all I needed from them as a fan was the album Emotionalism and a few EPâ€™s. I was really, really wrong; the stuff they played from their earlier albums was all phenomenal. I am now on a quest to get my hands on everything theyâ€™ve recorded. They finished the night with an encore: a tune I hadnâ€™t heard before called â€œSalvation Songâ€. The chorus to the song fit the evening perfectly, and I left the show feeling happy and alive. It was a good night to be a San Diegan.