'Chos and Shows Festivities: Day 2

13 June 2009 by Rachel Anderson Category: nacho radio, reviews
Tagged: , , ,   2 Comments

Thursday night marked the beginning of the ‘Chos and Shows Festival. You can read the review for a full recap but in short, I failed at eating nachos prior to The Hold Steady’s performance at the Musical Hall of Williamsburg. It was a minor setback in the festival for sure. However, Friday was a new day. The Avett Brothers were playing their first of two shows at The Fillmore at Irving Plaza. The place was stuffed to the gills as was my stomach from the nachos we ordered at Art Bar.

IMG_1955Yelp.com. It has been a helpful website in the past as we look for some guidance on this nacho quest. But many times adhering to reviews from fellow nachos did not produce positive nacho results. This was another one of those times. Maraysa, our new “Margarita Correspondent,” joined me this evening (shockingly, with a beer in hand). It was happy hour so 2 for 1 drafts and wells. That was probably the lone bright spot in our short visit to this place. The drinks were reasonable and I don’t mind a bar that shows VH1’s Charm School. However, the nachos were a major disappointment.

IMG_1950We orderd the Art Bar Vegetarian Mini Nachos. For the price, ($5.95) we were served a decent sized portion. The vegetarian option sounded more appetizing since the regular nachos had ground beef. The veggie ‘chos were served with a chili that included garbanzo beans. It may seem strange but I have seen this before. Sadly, the chick pea chili heavily weighed down the chips. Chip breakage was certainly an issue here. In addition, the guacamole was ice cold. As if scooped straight from the refrigerator, this restaurant made no bones about it: this guac was not fresh. It lacked an flavor and for goodness sake, if you’re going to serve me boxed guac, at least let it be at a decent temperature so it doesn’t freeze up my chips. It’s the same beef I have with salsa. I want my chips to be warm and in melted state, Cosmic Cantina the lone exception.

It was a sad state of nacho waste. We couldn’t even finish a mini plate. In addition to the nachos, Maraysa and I ordered guacamole and brie melts with sun-dried tomato on a baguette. Sounds fancy, right? They weren’t. At least the guac was warm.

After our 2-for-1’s, Maraysa and I shimmied on over to The Avett Brothers at the Fillmore. Opening for the band was Nicole Atkins and the Sea. I will now quickly embarrass myself and then move on. I have seen TAB well over 10 times, I can’t even count anymore. From Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, and beyond, I have traveled great distances to see these guys perform. It has been a wonderful experience to watch them play in near empty venues, crazy drunken festivals, and now to a sold out crowd in New York City. The band is more than appreciative, constantly thanking the fans whenever they can catch their breath.

IMG_1965Friday night, as hundreds of people hung on to every word out of a Brother’s mouth, I felt like this was the calm before the storm. The Avetts have been bubbling beneath the surface and under some people’s radar for years. Not to ignore the hard work and previous albums the band has done up to this point, but there were a lot of people at that show to see TAB headline. An album produced by Rick Rubin is on its way and an extensive tour schedule will surely expose the bands to thousands of new people. I feel an Avett Brothers musical explosion on the horizon.

Highlights of this evening include “Swept Away” with Nicole Atkins singing instead of the other Avett sibling, Bonnie. Also the encore was calming and mesmorizing. Starting with “Murdered in the City” and finishing the night off with a new song “It Goes On and On.” My favorite new song (besides “Laundry Room,”IMG_1961 fingers crossed for that one on Saturday night) is “Perfect Space.” Lyrically, it showcases the band’s self-awareness and humility. “I wanna have pride like my mother has / And not like the kind in the Bible that turns you bad / And I wanna have friends that I can trust / That love me for the man I’ve become and not the man that I was.” It’s certainly not going to be a song for everyone, as it transitions from a sweet and slow beginning to a hard screaming “Get Out.” Scott jumps from keyboards, to drums, and back to keyboards (instead of banjo) while Seth and Bob Crawford play electric instruments, as opposed to acoustic guitar and stand-up bass which used to be the band’s only musical instruments on stage. However, I feel “Perfect Space” is a great example of the band’s musical growth and flexibility that has emerged since Emotionalism.

Years ago if you told me The Avett Brothers would include a cello I would have slapped you silly. I would have backhanded you if I you told me the band would have keyboards, drums, and electric instruments on stage at their disposal. Yet, for the most part, it all seems to work. The band is expanding and reaching new heights musically. I can’t wait to hear what they have in store for the second night.

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  • Maraysa said:

    Murdered in the City brought tears to my eyes!

  • Nachos NY » ‘Chos and Shows Saturday said:

    […] hard to choose favorites when it comes to Avetts shows. Not to put down Friday’s show, but Saturday night simply blew me away. Every time Scott slams on the kick drum, it is like an […]

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