February 20, 2011

Avett Brothers - DAR - February 19, 2011

This week, we featured a piece on the rise and reasonability of ticket prices, and (now seemingly in error) we mentioned the Avett Brothers--even after two relatively stellar reviews on this blog, and a total of nine of their shows between the two of us.  Consider this a retraction because they are consistently worth every penny.

On the warmest night seen this side of last summer, the Avett Brothers lit up a sold-out show at DAR Constitution Hall.  Following the dimming of the lights and two minutes of cheering, Seth and Scott emerged and opened with the family-focused Murder in the City; then the rest of the band joined for Salina, and the crowd soon lost themselves in jumping, fist pumping, wailing Avett brand of alt country.

Fresh off a Grammy performance with Bob Dylan and Mumford and Sons, the Avett Brothers appear unaffected by their increase in fame.  Scott thanked the crowd numerous times for letting them play, expressing appreciation even in face of the long, hard road it takes to get to Washington, literally (they must've hit traffic).

Though as humbling an experience it might be for the Avett Brothers, it's a similar one for this music writer.  To be in the presence of such awesome songwriters who hide hubris in the face of real talent, who recognize the importance of maintaining an audience, who give one hundred and twenty percent in performance (see broken bow strings of the cellist, singers running and jumping on the speakers, innumerous wails and shouts)... it's an experience worth reliving every time they come to town.  And sometimes, even when they don't.

Highlights included the clear crowd favorite (and a personal one) Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise, and the final two songs of the encore, Talk on Indolences and Distraction #74--the exchange between the two brothers during those two is simply something you have to witness live.  See my scorecard, and pics, for more info.  Another homerun, Avetts.

The Avett Brothers Setlist D.A.R. Constitution Hall, Washington, DC, USA 2011

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