To see the Avett Brothers even just one night of a multi night tour stop is well worth the time. I covered the final night at the Chicago Theatre and arrived early to get a feel for the entire weekend. I had the opportunity to talk to some the fans who were attending all 3 nights while they were waiting in line so I could get a better understanding of what to expect. From the enthusiasm that everyone felt from the previous 2 night’s sets, I felt their energy was rubbing off on me.
For those who are not aware of who The Avett Brothers are, they hale from North Carolina, and have been together since 2000. Their music is deeply rooted in folk and bluegrass with a sound that they have made all their own. With 8 studio albums already under their belt, this current spring tour has been a great opportunity for them to play new songs from their upcoming 9th album, True Sadness, which will be out at the end of June.
The band arrived on stage at around 8:30pm to a crowd that were more than eager to start singing and dancing the night away. Seth and Scott Avett started off the night with a very mellow yet beautiful “Pretty Girl from Feltre.” The rest of the band filled in throughout the song and then led into a rousing rendition of the song “Colorshow.” The final song that I photographed got the crowd dancing. It was the first time I had ever heard “The D Bag Rag”, which is performed with kazoos. It was a blast to watch their chemistry up close during that song.
I missed a couple of songs after this with having to put my gear away, which was a shame. When I got back in the theatre they were just starting “Talk on Indolence.” The show progressed nicely with periods of wild and upbeat songs that fired the crowd up and then they would ease back down to sweet ballads like “The Ballad of Love and Hate.” I was impressed at the sheer talent that they brought forth throughout the show while still staying very humble with their banter towards each other and with the crowd. You can see that even after being a band for almost 2 decades, they still love performing and goofing off in the process. I truly appreciate a band that can put on a fantastic show and not take themselves too seriously in the process.
The songs that truly highlighted the night for me were: “The D Bag Rag”, “The Ballad of Love and Hate”, “The Traveling Song”, “Murder In The City”, “I and Love and You”, and “Laundry Room.” After covering numerous concerts over the past 5 years, I have to say this was one of the better shows I have seen. The lighting was simple, but utilized perfectly for their show. And the 2 backdrops they used during the show, a snowy barn scene and a mural of candles, roses and a skull, fit the mood of the songs nicely.
Here is the set of photos from Saturday nights show: