In a symbol of bipartisanship coming full-circle, the Avett Brothers will headline next month’s inauguration for incoming Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
Delta Rae, Mipso, Bull City Syndicate and NC A&T State University’s Cold Steel Drumline will also perform Jan. 5-7. But it’s the Avetts, a Grammy-nominated folk-rock group from Concord, who will be the most-noted inaugural band this time around.
Four years ago, the Avetts headlined the inauguration of then-newly elected Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. McCrory’s term began in January 2013, and it didn’t take long for him to become a lightning rod for “Moral Monday” protests against laws regarding abortion, voting rights and other hot-button issues.
As controversy deepened, the Avetts found themselves fielding questions about having played McCrory’s inauguration.
“Politics are really touchy, and we’re in such a heated-up time,” Scott Avett said in a December 2014 News & Observer interview. “I remember a time when there was loyalty to the so-called leader of your country and the idea that you might not agree with him, but now that he was there in office you’d stand by him and do your best. It’s a patriotic perspective and it’s gone out the door, probably for good reason…At the end of the day, what unifies us is what’s important. So for us to play the inauguration came from an American, not political, point of view. We would have played President Obama’s inauguration, too, if we’d been invited and had the time.”
The Avetts and Delta Rae will headline the N.C. Governor’s Inaugural Ball Gala Presentation, Jan. 7 at NC State University’s Reynolds Coliseum. Mipso will headline the Rock the Ball Concert Jan. 5 at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre.
Tickets start at $35. For details, see ncgovernorsball.org.