North Carolina drops an acorn, a pickle, and a possum every New Years Eve. But Concord-natives Scott and Seth Avett have their own holiday tradition. The Avett Brothers will be playing their annual New Year's Eve concert at the PNC Arena in Raleigh this year.
The band does a New Year’s show in North Carolina every year. Seth says it’s a tradition borne out of convenience. When the band started 14 years ago, they were on the road a lot. Like, more than 200 shows in a year.
“We just short of hatched a plan to have a New Year’s celebration in the Carolinas every year,” Seth says. “That way, no matter what was happening with our schedule, we would end up near home or at home for the holidays themselves, so we could be around family and everything.”
Seth says in the early days, he mostly saw the band as a good time, rather a life commitment. But the band weathered challenges together when bass player Bob Crawford watched his young daughter Hallie battle cancer. Fans reached out to help support the Crawford family.
“In moments like that… It immediately makes the priorities of life crystal clear,” says Seth.
“It’s helped us to understand humility a little more I think, and that we individually are not so important, in a good way.”
The New Year's show is always a mix of songs from across the band's catalog, pulling from older tracks and new ones.
"Another is Waiting" is from the band's most recent album The Magpie and the Dandelion.
Seth says it’s easy to get caught up in music during every New Year’s Show: They almost always miss the timing of the countdown to midnight. But when the countdown does happen, the stage explodes in flashes of color.
Seth says the only song you can expect to hear, pretty much, is Auld Lange Sine.
(Here's a video of the band singing the traditional song at last year's show in Charlotte.)