Booking a concert on Father’s Day can be a bit of a gamble for some bands. However, this was not the case for An Evening with The Avett Brothers, which quickly sold out, and judging by the amount of families in the audience, it was a great gift for many fathers this year. Currently touring in anticipation of their ninth studio album True Sadness, The Avett Brothers performed an unforgettable show to the sold out crowd at The Moody Theater. Touring as a seven piece band, it is well known to fans that every song played will sound even better live than on any album.
As the term “An Evening With” alludes to, there was no opening act, solely an entire evening devoted to reveling in The Avett Brothers’ version of Americana. After taking the stage to rapturous applause, the band launched into “The D Bag Rag” from their sophomore release Carolina Jubilee. The instrumental rag was even performed with both brothers and cellist Joe Kwon playing a three part kazoo segment. The band then launched into a set that would be heavy on songs from 2007’s Emotionalism and True Sadness with songs spanning their entire career and a few memorable covers.
While older songs like “Go To Sleep” and “Die Die Die” were met with great enthusiasm from the audience, it was nothing in comparison to fervor generated by songs from their breakout album I and Love and You. “Head Full Of Doubt/Road Full Of Promise” and “The Perfect Space” had most in the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs. Songs from the forthcoming True Sadness were also warmly accepted despite being unknown to most in audience. “Ain’t No Man” had a more funky feel than previous material released by the band and was performed with only bass, drum and keyboard and the brothers singing. “Divorce Separation Blues” was sung by Seth Avett and, utilizing their gift for storytelling through song, told of a couple going through a separation and dealing with the other people in their life through it all.
Some of the most memorable moments of the night revolved around two “holidays” that were taking place that day. The first being banjo/lead singer Scott Avett’s fortieth birthday, which, after many birthday wishes being yelled out by members in the audience, culminated in an impromptu singing of “Happy Birthday”. As it was also Father’s Day, Scott and Seth welcomed their father Jim Avett to the stage where he joined his sons in singing the traditional hymn “In The Garden”. It wouldn’t be a true Avett Brothers concert without some flawless cover songs, and that night saw a tribute to the late Merle Haggard with “Mama Tried” and Willie Nelson’s “Stay All Night (Stay A Little Longer)”.
With an extensive catalogue like The Avett Brothers, it is almost impossible to see a concert where every song you want to hear is played. However, that is a good problem to have as it makes you want to come back and see them the next time they come around. As it is pretty much all but guaranteed that it will be an unforgettable experience, that time cannot come soon enough.