Avett Brothers’ Wild Hootenanny Hits Atlanta


When guitarist/vocalist Seth Avett sings, “Be loud, let your colors show,” he heeds his own advice; the outfit’s performance Saturday night (April 19) at the Variety Playhouse was truly deafening, and their folk and punk colors shined in a raucous, intense live show, down-home instruments borne with the forceful burden.

Throughout the Avett Brothers’ set almost everything was thunderous, sweaty, and percussive. Seth snapped strings as upright bassist Bob Crawford swayed more than the instrument usually allows, and Joe Kwon hoisted his cello in the air when plucking it in unison. And even the banjo took a beating; Scott Avett had to constantly retune his instrument throughout the concert, after shaking it onstage like he was having fits, finger picks darting like shrapnel off his hands mid-song.

“There’s people looking back at me,” the Avett Brothers sang in “Paranoia In B Major,” soon switching gears to put idling, navel-gazing guitarists on notice. And at one point during the frantic “Talk on Indolence,” Scott crowd surfed before later departing the stage, only to return for a second encore spurred by forceful foot stomping and eardrum-shattering shouts.

“Are y’all absolutely sure about this?” Scott questioned fans, prepping them for a wild encore before starting “If It’s the Beaches,” off the band’s 2006 The Gleam EP. Alternately folk and punk, the Avett Brothers’ vocals moved from solitary and plaintive to melodious and harmonizing, to screams that are normally the hallmark of hardcore frontmen.

“[It was] one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen,” said Micah Carver, 28, an Atlanta native. “They tear it up.”

We asked: The Avett Brothers musically interpret human emotion with the tune “The Ballad of Love and Hate.” What else would you like to hear the Avett Brothers personify in song?

The Avett Brothers / Photo by Julia Norman

The Avett Brothers / Photo by Julia Norman

The Avett Brothers / Photo by Julia Norman

The Avett Brothers / Photo by Julia Norman


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