As 7 pm approached, 17,000 people filled the fields of Treasure Island. Getting this many people together has its challenges and the casino had a lot of staff on hand to help everyone navigate the area. Upon finding spots to park, fans who were armed with their picnic blankets and lawn chairs, made their way to their respected spots to witness a memorable night of Americana.
When 7 o’clock did come, the Duluth band, Trampled by Turtles made their way on stage. This bluegrass/Americana band earned the title of local-legends years ago and it’s no surprise that the audience was filled with fans singing along to every song. With each member of this six-piece band busy with other projects, it’s always great when Minnesotans get to see them come together. With a set time of around an hour and a half, they served more as a duel-headliner rather than an opener for the Avett Brothers.
This set was filled with hits of theirs such as “Midnight on the Interstate” and “Alone.” The band found a perfect balance between their slow melodies and all-out jams such as “Wait So Long.” Before going into this song, frontman Dave Simonett took a moment to talk about his history with the area. As a former Red Wing resident, a city just down the road from the casino, he was excited to be surrounded by his old neighbors. The song was then dedicated to the residents of the town, making the moment all the more special.
At 8:30 the band stepped off stage for the last time. A half-hour later, the infamous Avett Brothers made their way out. Their set started with an acoustic cover of Doc Watson’s “Black Mountain Rag” before they went into their new poppy tune “High Steppin.” The song has only been public for a couple of months but there was already a great number of people in the crowd singing along. With a new record due to come out next month, their set featured several of tracks off it. Scott and Seth Avett brought family value and respect for other humans to the attention of the crowd with each song. In another new song of theirs “Bang Bang” the band addressed the issue of gun violence in America. When everyone but Scott made their way off stage, the song “Murder in the City” addressed the love of parents and the bond of siblings.
While there were a few slow jams throughout the set, the show was mostly made up of faced passed rock ballads. Songs such as “Live and Die” and “Head Full of Doubt” highlighted the bands’ ability to not only be folksy jammers but also all-out rock stars. Scott and Seth were thrilled with the turn out for their show and wasted no time in playing as many fan favorites as possible. When the twenty-song main set ended, the band took only a few minutes to come back out to play a Jim Croce cover as well as “Slight Figure of Speech” and “No Hard Feelings” which ended the night.
While traffic may have been horrific exiting the casino, nobody really seemed to care. The night was filled with positivity and reflection on what’s really important in life: Family, kindness, and of course, the Avett Brothers.