Avett Brothers documentary kicks off Roots N Blues N BBQ with excitement

The pre-party for Columbia’s annual festival made guests more excited for tomorrow’s performances.

Soft, acoustic music filled the air as people filtered through the red gates of Rose Park, the grassy area next to Rose Music Hall in downtown Columbia on Sept. 27, the night before Columbia’s annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival. As the sky grew darker, the grass filled with lawn chairs and blankets, all occupied by people anticipating the main show: “May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers,” a documentary centered around this weekend’s headlining band.

The event began with the release of the Burney Sisters’ new music video. The young duo’s video easily transitioned into the documentary, right at home with the theme of sibling-made music groups. As the lights went out, a hush fell over the crowd, a silence broken only by the strums of the banjo and acoustic guitar.

As the documentary progressed, the audience laughed with the brothers and applauded their performances. For Alison Sower, this was a great warm-up for when she sees the band in real life this weekend.

“I think I like them more [after seeing the documentary],” Sower said. “I think it’s just very personal, that’s what I liked about it. Especially seeing the songwriting process. That was really awesome.”

Sower arrived as an avid Avett Brothers fan. Other movie-goers, such as Galit Rudelson, did not.

“I’m actually here with my boyfriend,” Rudelson said. “He’s seen the Avett Brothers probably a million and a half times now and I have not, so he was appalled and said this was something I could not miss out on.”

Though the air was cool and only got colder as the night went on, this did not deter most guests. The area remained full until the final credits began to roll. Audience member Ashley Matt, especially, enjoyed the event regardless of the chilly weather.

“It was just kind of cool to be outside, watching the movie,” Matt said. “I mean, [it’s] a little brisk, but just a good night to get out and see a good movie. It’s actually our third time seeing it, so yeah, it’s just kind of great to see behind the scenes, their lives.”

With the last strums of the final song indicating the end of the film, the lights came back on and guests folded up their lawn chairs and blankets to head home and wait for Roots N Blues to begin. For many, the anticipation is amplified by the opportunity to see the same brothers seen on screen. The Avett Brothers perform Sept. 28 at 9:15 p.m. on the MO Lottery Stage as one of 30 artists performing at the annual festival this weekend.

Edited by Alexandra Sharp | asharp@themaneater.com

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