Beneath the elaborate cathedral ceiling of the Fabulous Fox Theater, the soulful strum of a banjo echoes through the air, accompanied by a voice like liquid gold.
The audience erupts in a wave of howls and thunderous applause just as neon spotlights cut through the darkness and illuminate the grand stage, where the Avett Brothers stand ready to stun the crowd.
The band performed their newest album, “The Carpenter,” Saturday, Sept. 29, showcasing a multitude of their most recent songs as well as several old favorites.
The group is made up of brothers Scott Avett, who plays banjo, and Seth Avett, who plays guitar, as well as stand-up bass player Bob Crawford, cello player Joe Kwan and drummer Jacob Edwards. Their folk-rock style pleased the Midwestern crowd, who went wild over the opening number “Die, Die, Die” and begged for an encore following the performance of “I and Love and You.”
My personal favorite was when the two brothers gathered around a single microphone in the center of the stage and performed “Murder in the City,” a touching piece which relayed the strong relationship shared by the brothers and included the particularly moving line, “Always remember, there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.”
The clear bond between Scott and Seth made the entire performance more meaningful and gave an added degree of depth to the concert.
Before Saturday, I had never heard of the Avett Brothers, much less listened to their music or developed any expectations regarding how they might sound live. Not only did the unique mixture of instruments and tantalizing vocals combine beautifully, but the atmosphere was elating. Needless to say, I was knocked off my feet.
A myriad of sub-cultures and age groups showed up for the enchanting show, ranging from little kids cheering on their dads’ shoulders, to young adult hipsters in flannel and black-framed glasses, to elderly fans sporting gray hair and broad smiles. The scent of the Fox Theater’s cinnamon-roasted pecans wafted through the enormous amphitheater and the performance was enriched by lots of boot-stomping, whistling and frequent verbal proclamations of appreciation.
The experience was one which I can honestly categorize as unforgettable, and it goes without saying that the Avett Brothers’ new album will soon be joining my iTunes playlist.
By Anna Wright
What’s your favorite Avett Brothers’ song?