Hailing from Concord, NC – “a progressive city rooted in families, traditional values, southern hospitality and charm” – The Avett Brothers (only two brothers here: Seth and Scott) sailed into Birmingham, AL to showcase their unique blend of alt-country slamgrass on a mid-April’s night at the historic Sloss Furnace. With their boot-stomping, hi-lonesome/Appalachian sound mixed with impressive, earthy harmonies and texture-rich interplay, this night promised to be a culmination of brotherhood, heart and southern-fried fun.
[All Photos by Megan Case]
The quartet plays entirely acoustic: banjo, steel string guitar, cello and stand-up bass. The band’s camaraderie shows in each pluck and golden melody. The simplicity and minimalism of their stage setup is part of their draw and charm. No lasers, no fog machines, no light show, no BS. This is an enormously talented group, almost alarmingly so. Blood runs deep, as does the compassion, love and tenderness.
Tears can fall, as they do in their warm-hearted and moving performance of Murder In The City. This song is a glimpse of the true feeling and amour that exists in the Avett’s inner circle. The key lyric being “always remember, there is nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.” Blood does run deep. READ ON for more of Matt’s review of the Avett Brothers…
Don’t let this fool you, the band also has bite. Things can get almost bawdy – roadhouse style, with hard jamming and musical meltdowns and hoedowns, as it does on some of their up-tempo rockers, such as their standard Nothing Short Of Thankful and new favorite, Kick Drum My Heart. It feels as if they are throwing everything they have at you, without irony. It should come as no surprise that the Avett’s previously played in a punk rock outfit. Interestingly enough, I also sense a little British Invasion influence in their music as well.
Packed to the rafters, Sloss Furnace was buzzing with energy and excitement, growing with each song. Feeling the need to immerse myself in the music as well as another Southern tradition, Tennessee bourbon, I found myself at one with the music and my beverage of choice. A whiskey-soaked spring night in the heart of Dixie with simpatico souls.
Setlist: Left On Laura, Left on Lisa , More of You, Dream Appointed, Colorshow , I Killed Sally’s Lover , The Weight of Lies, Die Die Die, Famous Flowers of Manhattan, Nothin’ Short of Thankful , Tin Man , Bella, Donna, Pretty Girl from Annapolis> Little Black Train(Woody Guthrie cover)>Pretty Girl from Annapolis , Pretty Girl from Chile, Murder In The City , Distraction #74>Laundry Room, Kick Drum Heart, (encore) The Ballad of Love and Hate, Paranoia in Bb Major