Here's a review of the first of a two night stand at McMenamin's Edgefield from the Avett Brothers from Cynthia Orlando.
A Night to Remember with The Avett Brothers
If you're gonna climb in your car and endure traffic all the way from the Eugene-Springfield area to Troutdale Oregon on a sunny Saturday afternoon, there oughta be a darn good reason to do so. Such was the case Saturday when after making the trek, a friend and I seated ourselves at McMenamins Edgefield to see The Avett Brothers in concert and found the folks sitting next to us were also up from the Eugene area.
Good thing such labors of love were well-rewarded. The balmy summer evening held more surprises in store for us than we could've anticipated, starting with The Avett Brothers taking the stage at 7 pm sharp - no warm-up band, thank you very much - and opening with a surprise: the upbeat "Denouncing November Blue" from their 2006 "Four Thieves Gone" release. They killed it on the follow-up, too, their animated "Tin Man" from "I and Love and You," delivered with a style and intensity that got the sold-out crowd to their feet, all ready to give it up for this exceptional rock band hailing from Concord, North Carolina.
"Will You Return?" and the conciliatory "Shame" followed, eliciting more adoration from fans who sat on blankets and lawn chairs, or, more often, stayed standing throughout the length of the show. "Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise" from their last release was epic. The band really relished this one, playing it to the hilt and pounding it out, reminding everyone there that there's nothing better than the combination of great live music heard through a top-notch sound system. A peak concert moment, to be sure. The amazing and spirited jams on "Traveling Song" were worth the price of admission alone, but fans also clapped in time to "Paranoia in B Flat Major" from their 2007 "Emotionalism," and sang along to the sweet "January Wedding" when invited to do so.
Avett's generously long setlist satisfies fans
The band played for well over two hours so there was lots more to come. Folks swooned for "And it Spread" and some well-played harmonica on "The Prettiest Thing." Fans smiled and danced with abandon to their current hit single "Live and Die," a catchy love song from their upcoming "The Carpenter" due out Sept. 11. And the raucous and rollicking "Gimmeakiss" from "Four Thieves Gone" brought the house down.
The Avett Brothers are Scott and Seth Avett, who have been making music together since childhood and play banjo and guitar, respectively, as well as Bob Crawford on stand-up bass. Besides banjo, Scott Avett plays guitar, piano and drums and sings lead vocals; likewise, multi-talented brother Seth conquers piano, drums, hi-hat, and sings lead vocals too. Touring members of the band are Joe Kwon, cello, and Jacob Edwards, drums.
They've been releasing studio albums since 2003, finally becoming better known with their 2009 "I and Love and You" release. It peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard 200 best selling albums list, No. 7 in rock albums and No. 1 in folk. The Avett Brothers appeared on the 53rd Grammy Awards in 2011, playing "Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise" before joining Mumford and Sons and Bob Dylan for a performance of "Maggie's Farm." The Avett's are a gracious band, thanking everyone for coming Saturday night, recounting a concert in Oregon five years ago and commenting on Oregon's beauty.
Aside from the rowdy and roof-raising numbers, Saturday night's show included a medley of touching and memorable acoustic songs. Scott and Seth Avett wowed the crowd with great finger picking and beautiful harmonies on the reflective "Ten Thousand Words" from "I and Love and You." Doc Watson's soothing ballad "Shady Grove" was a real crowd-pleaser, and the plaintive "In the Curve" showcased a beautiful acoustic arrangement for guitar.
"Go to Sleep" was another standout of the night, but one would be hard pressed to sleep during such an exuberant, well-performed fun-loving stomp. Outstanding vocals on "Winter in My Heart" - one of several new tracks from their upcoming "The Carpenter" release, was another highlight.
After a full two hours of nonstop music the band received a well-earned, thunderous, no-holds barred standing ovation, returning for an encore performance of more great stuff including "Die Die Die," "Talk on Indolence" (lyric excerpt: "Remember the time I got raging drunk with you?") and "Murder in the City" from their "Second Gleam" release.
"Murder in the City" is such a beautiful song that surely all KINK-listeners will want to own it - if you're not familiar with it, you can check out the lyrics HERE. Or browse through their song catalogue on i-Tunes.
To sum up: In another year they'll probably have enough fans to play 3 Oregon shows instead of 2. All in all a lot of outstanding music and a memorable way to enjoy a warm summer evening.
Many thanks to The Avett Brothers, please come back again soon. Concert Highlights
A couple of highlights from the Saturday night show in order of how they were played - enjoy!
Head Full of Doubt, Road full of Promise
Live and Die
Thanks to Cynthia Orland for the concert review. Follow Cynthia on Twitter.