I’ve seen a lot of things at the Atlanta Braves’ stadiums, including more Braves games than I can count, from sparsely attended Astros games in the late ‘70s to the World Series, the last regular-season game at Fulton County and the first one at Turner Field. I was there for Hank Aaron’s record-breaking 715th homerun (though I was just a toddler). I saw the dress-rehearsal for 1996 Olympic Opening Ceremonies and heard Hall & Oates at the Paralympic Opening Ceremonies. But yesterday was something new.
One of my favorite bands, The Avett Brothers, performed a full concert after the Braves-Phillies game. The sound was awful and we were a million miles from the stage, but that couldn’t take away from how much fun it was to be there.
Post-game concerts are notoriously the domain of washed-up radio acts—REO Speedwagon playing the hits to anyone who needs to wait a couple hours to drive after downing a gallon of $8 beers. But the old-time, punk-a-billy harmonies of the Avetts? That’s a gutsy move by whoever does the booking. And one that paid off, as a crowd of about 15,000 stuck around. By their look and the way they sang every word to every song, many of those came for the Avetts as much as the ballgame. My buddy, who’d stuck around for the Beach Boys last year, said they only kept about half as many fans in the park.
But Braves fans Seth and Scott Avett were clearly moved by the experience, putting on a great set, even if only a few hundred folks had spent the extra $25 for field passes and most were more than 100 yards away. My 6-year-old son and I were banging on the seats during “Kick Drum My Heart” (the upbeat songs worked better than the ballads in that gargantuan space) and the whole family enjoyed the concert much more than the Braves’ sad 3-0 loss.
The other two scheduled Braves post-game concerts—Yacht Rock and B-52s—are more interesting than your typical MLB events. Hopefully, more teams will take notice of the success of the Avett’s show and get a little more creative in their musical selection. Conveniently, we’ve got a suggestion for each stadium here.