Anyone who’s ever caught them in concert will attest to the fact that an Avett Brothers show is one of the most exhilarating experiences one will ever encounter. The energy, enthusiasm and spontaneity the band offers its audiences are not only contagious, but an experience that resonates long after those live last notes fade away.
Those that have seen the Avetts in concert will bask in those feelings all over again after watching and listening to this concert from PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina on New Years Eve 2014/2015 and now offered under the unassuming title, Live Vol. 4. Like Live Volumes 1, 2 and 3, it captures the band in its current incarnation as an expanded seven person line-up and performing songs that, for the most part, make up its present repertoire. Some of the songs are familiar favorites — the riveting “Kick Drum Heart,” the remorseful and reflective tomes of “Shame” and the truly touching “I And Love And You” are obvious standouts — while others are previews of an upcoming album scheduled for release this spring. Still others are unexpected covers; their take on “The Boys Are Back In Town” boasts all the urgency and insurgency of the Thin Lizzy original, while a stirring coda in the form of the age-old cowboy ballad “Happy Trails” is simply sublime.
It’s worth noting that Live Vol. 4 comes packaged as a CD/DVD combination and that the audio portion is really more a soundtrack accompaniment for the video. Several behind-the-scenes segments are included, including one where the mikes are tested with a reading of the old standby “Feelin’ Good.” In addition, some random conversation is tossed between tunes. Without watching the DVD, these portions appear to interrupt the overall flow. Then again, the Avetts are as much a visual show as they are a concert collective, making Live Vol. 4 a superb souvenir as far as devotees are concerned, and a suitable introduction for those who have never witnessed their remarkable efforts before.