Tag Archives: Avett Brothers

Concert Review: Wilco and Avett Bros @ Camden Water Front

( @wilco, @theavettbros )

Opening Act: Dr. Dog
Venue: Susquehanna Bank Center – Camden, NJ
Date: Saturday, July 21st, 2012

NOTE: I didn’t take any pictures of video because it just seems kind of stupid to take crappy grainy pictures or poor quality audio. So I will post some quality videos I find on the net so you get the idea.

[Dr. Dog]

Website: DrDogMusic.com

Dr. Dog is a Philadelphia based band that I got turned on to a few years ago. I thought they were good band but honestly never really gave their albums much thought after that first spin. That was a mistake. This band thrives playing on stage. Their material totally popped in the live setting – it was dynamic and LOUD (my chest was thumping during the entire set). I was impressed with their set, but I do wish they could have stepped up the on-stage banter for their hometown audience (but I suspect they had extremely limited time on stage with the other acts).

[The Avett Brothers]

Website: TheAvettBrothers.com

Frequent readers of this blog know that I am a huge fan of The Avett Brothers. These guys have been touring non-stop for the last few years and are still pumping out excellent material. The band’s live shows are what makes them special: they have a excellent work ethic and they bust their asses on stage. This was the fifth time I have seen the band and they still exceed my expectations (they are not resting on their success).

The band played for about 90 minutes and they were bouncing around the entire time. I am not going to run down the entire set list, but they hit all of the fan favorites with a nice mix of all of their albums. They closed the set with “Kick Drum Heart” but did an epic southern rock style jam at the end which was an interesting (and welcome) new element to their live show.

I honestly feel that The Avett Brothers are the best live act in the country right now. Go see them if you have the chance.

Previous Avett Brother Reviews:

[Wilco]

Website: WilcoWorld.net

It took about 40 minutes for the stage crew to move the Avett’s equipment and set up Wilco’s stage. They had these pieces of fabric hanging down in long knots (like 20-30 foot lengths) – they were on the stage the entire night and I was wondering what they were for. Turns out the band had images projected on the ropes for a very cool effect during their set.

Jeff Tweedy was not in a mellow mood, the band came out on the stage ready to singe faces. The first 6 songs were very loud. I honestly don’t know what the opening song was – wait checking the internet – “Art of Almost” – I am not sure if there was an actual melody to that tune, just sound. Hell of a way to wake up the audience. I appreciated the rocked out/artistic set because it was an excellent contrast to the Avetts.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay the entire concert because we had a baby to go home to (this was our first time leaving him with a sitter). Fun Side Note: There was a couple that brought their two young children to the show sitting right in front of us, they made it half-way through the Avett’s set before they left. Note to self: Resist the temptation to take son to concert until he is potty trained. We cut out during “Hate It Here” which was sad, but I appreciate the band coming to the Philadelphia area and putting a damn fine effort on stage.

Previous Wilco Reviews:

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Concert Review: The Avett Brothers @ The Ryman Theater (Nashville, TN)

( #Avett, #GracePotter, @dookiefinger, #Ryman )

Opening Act: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Date: Saturday, October 30th, 2010
Location: The Ryman Theater – Nashville, TN
Band Website: The Avett Brothers

[Nashville]

My wife, a few friends and I decided to take a weekend trip to Nashville to see the Avett Brothers and enjoy the “City of Music.” Fall in Nashville was excellent: the weather was mild, the downtown area was decorated for Halloween, and there was a palpable excitement in the air. I will get to a recap of our adventures in Nashville in the next few days, but I wanted to share this concert experience first.

[Grace Potter and the Nocturnals]

When we sat down in our excellent center-stage seats, I started chatting with the costumed college kids in front of me. They had been to the show the night before and I asked them if there was an opening act, they said Grace Potter. I had heard of her, but did not know any of the material. The college kid said she was average the night before and I guess he must have been smoking some of the good stuff because…

Grace Potter was fantastic. This woman can sing her ass off, she knows how to put on a show, and she surrounds herself with excellent musicians. Her two guitars players were really good in that understated-but-know-when-to-turn it up kind of way (very similar to Sheryl Crow’s long time guitarist) and her bass player is one of my all time music crushes Catherine Popper. I wish I had caught this band when they were in Philadelphia a few weeks ago, but they are totally on my radar now.

My friend (who doesn’t follow any music not on the mainstream country stations) started screaming like a little girl when Potter invited country musician Kenny Chesney on stage. Chesney managed to bother me by standing in front of Popper, but sounded at home on the Ryman stage. Potter and the band finished their set and the curtains closed in preparation for the main event.

[The Avett Brothers]

When the curtains re-opened 30 minutes later, the stage was decorated for Halloween. The entire band came on stage dressed as mummies (and remained in costume the entire 2 hour show) and proceeded to entertain the crowd in their typical high-energy fashion.

While the band played well, it was really hard to hear over the audience singing along. Having long heard of the Ryman’s excellent acoustics, I was disappointed I couldn’t experience it for myself (I think it amplified the crowd instead of the band). The Avetts played several crowd favorites (but not many of their singles). The personal highlight of the night was the solo performance of “Murdered in the City” because the crowd went silent and I got to really hear the song.

Being their last show until New Years Eve, the Avetts really went for broke. Costumes aside, you could tell that the whole band was really happy to be playing (and then taking a break). Cellist Joe Kwon seemed to be soaking in the crowd as he left the stage before the encore.

This would not be an Ordered Chaos concert review without a little crowd report. Overall, the crowd was super cool and respectful. It was a nice mix of younger and older fans and everyone seemed to be mindful of each other… except the kid sitting next to me. The Ryman has these wonderful church benches to sit on (which of course nobody used), but it served the purpose of breaking up the crowd and providing personal space. This kid next to me kept getting closer and closer, crossing over the divider and bumping into me. As I learned to accept that, he started doing this wide clapping thing, almost elbowing me in the face at least a half-dozen times. I shot him a few dirty looks, but he did not get the hint. Eventually my friends left early and I got the personal space I craved.

Overall, it was a great show in a wonderful city and venue. I kinda wanted to see if I could get Catherine Popper’s autograph after the show (she was a part of my favorite album of all time), but a.) I had no idea how to do it and b.) I didn’t want to be that creepy fucker bothering a musician after a show – besides, my wife and I had to pack for the flight home.

Until the next show…

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Concert Review: The Avett Brothers @ The Trocadero

Artist: The Avett Brothers featuring Paleface
Date: Saturday, May 30th, 2009
Venue: The Trocadero – 1003 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pa
Previous Review: Avett Brothers @ Bottle & Cork – 7.10.2008

In my last entertainment reviews, I feel that I have come off overly negative and harsh. In that light, I wanted to begin this review by saying the Avett Brothers sounded great last night. They proved to me once again that they are outstanding and one of the best live acts in the business at the moment. The entire band is full of energy and command outstanding stage presence. I will support this band for a long time and always recommend that people check them out. With that said, I had a miserable experience last night.

The Venue

It has been a long time since I have attended a concert at the Trocadero and I recall getting into a minor incident with a member of semi-boy band (I can’t remember their names but it was a twin fronted acted and it wasn’t Nelson) the last time I was there. Before we even entered the building, I was turned off: there was a long line to get in. The line moved fast, but we waited a bit to go since the doors opened at 8 PM and the show didn’t start until 9 PM. The Trocadero staff insisted on patting everyone down and this “slowed the line down” but when we got to the front the dudes barely checked our pockets. Once we got into the first door, the girls checking the tickets were sporting huge attitude which was just more fuel to the starting fire. We then noticed a huge line to get upstairs (where there was bars and a seating section). We opted to go up there in order to drink and get a better view. The few seats were already taken and the bar area was a sea of people – after spending $5.00 for a plastic cup of lager I lost half of it from people bumping into me (and now I had beer on me). Here is a huge problem for the Troc – you can’t see the stage from any of the bars. There is a balcony area behind the seating where the bars are but you can’t see the stage because there is a canopy over the seats. I also feel that they planned capacity for the show with that area included so when the show started it was WAY too crowded.

The Opening Act

Paleface started a few minutes after 9 PM. We were still in one of the bars blocked in and wondering what we should do. More people continued into the bar where we were standing and I wanted to get out of there because it was getting really hot. We eventually got down and caught a few songs by Paleface (I think there might be two Paceface acts: One is British and the other one is this duo). From what I saw, Paleface is best describes as a neo-dixie White Stripes. You have a male singer who plays guitar and a female drummer singing backups. Like Meg White, the drummer sang sort of out of tune in an endearing but rattling way. Reviewing Paleface the day after, I am inclined to be less harsh: I was already pissed off and the crowd downstairs was really annoying. They had energy and good stage presence but their songs sounded like a one long continuous hymn. I only heard a few, so I will give them a pass and say I didn’t see enough to form an accurate opinion.

The Main Event

There was a 20 minute break between Paleface and The Avetts. During Paleface’s set we found a place to stand on the ground level towards the left side of the stage in the back. We were all leaning against the wall and had a decent view of the stage. As the Avetts started to play, more people crowded the side area and it become more cramped and our views blocked. The Avett Brothers came out and sounded strong. Scott Avett broke a banjo string during the first song keeping with the tradition. During the second song, two girls were moving past me like they were going to go to the front. I positioned myself so they can pass but they stayed right in front of me. There were NO space. Even in standing room concert standards, this was very close. The more moronic of the pair proceeded to jump up and down getting her filthy hippie hair all up in my face. My wife shifted so I could get out from behind her (shouldn’t a girl care that she is basically grinding on a complete stranger at a fucking dixie concert?). I moved, annoyed, but claiming no harm no foul because I could see and this spot was a little better (I have a general rule not to get close to the stage at standing room only shows because annoying little brats keep pushing their way closer as the show goes on making it hotter and more crowded, so I am happy to stay in the back and listen – but this show I kept getting pushed up).

In my new spot, the little idiot starts to clap at the end of the song, but of course she has to do it jumping up and down and throwing elbows. I let this slide, but as the third song started, she start doing this through the entire song. So now this bitch is hitting me with her elbows in a frantic and constant spasm and is managing to get her dirty hair all over me. I turn around and ask her to stop doing that and she says “I am sorry…” – I start to cool down – “… that you are at a concert and don’t like the crowds (or something like that)”. I begin to verbally tear her a new asshole. She looks shocked like she didn’t know that she was an asshole, her friend pulls her back and I turn around and listen to the show. The side area that we were at was one of the few access points to the stage, so staff and crew (and Paleface too) were going back and forth; the crowd also started pushing forward to get closer to the stage. My friend eventually retreated to the back entrance and we followed shortly. During this time, the Avetts played “Paranoia in B-Flat Major”, “Murdered in the City”, “Will You Return”, and few newer ones – the band threw in new twists and harmonies to the songs which sounded great, but were getting washed out by an asshole who though people paid to hear him sing. When “The Ballad of Love and Hate” finished, Nate said he was ready to go and so was Allison. I danced out the door.

Conclusion

As I said, The Avett Brothers were fantastic, but the crowd and venue killed the show for me. Perhaps the sloppy bitch with dirty hair was right, maybe I don’t like crowds; I will have to think about that one. While I reflect, I will tell you that I won’t ever see a show at the Troc again and I am seriously rethinking my stance of shows without seats. I am looking forward to hearing the new Avett’s album coming out this summer and hopefully seeing them at a show with set seating, until then, I will stay home and enjoy them much more.

Read the blog as it was intended to be read: HERE

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Concert Review: The Avett Brothers @ Bottle & Cork

Concert Review: The Avett Brothers @ Bottle & Cork
Concert Date: 7.10.2008

The first time I heard The Avett Brothers, I knew they were channeling a very strong and different energy than most bands. Their music respects the music of America from centuries past and yet they make it modern without comprising its core. I had seen youtube clips of the band and knew that their live act was all energy and I was excited to see it. The boys from North Carolina did not disappoint.

The band got on stage around 10:15 PM and immediately got the crowd going with a new song (sorry I didn’t know the title), but then they kicked into what I am assuming to be their most well know song “Die, Die, Die”. It was excellent, but the best part was they had a cello player that came in from the back that looked like the Japanese wrestler The Great Muta and actually played a cello like I think Muta would have played. This guy was fucking awesome.

A recurring theme throughout the night was Scott Avett breaking banjo strings, I think he was up to 15 or 20 by the end of the night. It didn’t stop him at all. The band just kept belting out songs. I am guessing the band put in some newer material (that they didn’t announce) or I just didn’t know the songs, but they had a different tone, it was like Alt-Country New Wave and a synthesizer was thrown into the mix, the songs were good, I don’t know if it fit in with their overall theme and presentation, but tunes were good and a little change was okay.

If you noticed in the last few concert write ups I make it a point to discuss the location and the crowd. We have been very lucky the last year with venues and crowds, our luck ran out in Delaware. The tickets said the show starts at 8 PM. The band didn’t get on until 10. I don’t think it was the bands fault as I did some reading and that is common place at the location, they just wanted to sell booze because it is a bar first and concert venue 50th. The Bottle & Cork concert area is outdoors and quite dirty. I have been to a ton of shows in Philadelphia’s concert pier and that place was 20 times cleaner than the concert area of B&C. It was disgusting. The crowd certainly added to the filth. I have never seen so many people under 30 smoking in my life. All these cute girls walking around and talking with cigarettes hanging from their hands – they all looked like babies smoking. Anyway….

The band sounded great and the concert was fully energy the whole night. If you want to see some old time style music with a modern flare and high energy performance, see the Avett Brothers.

Links:
The Avett Brothers: Official Site
Youtube Performance: Performance Link
Bottle & Cork: Bottle & Cork

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