The Avett Brothers Play a Remarkable Show

May 10th, 2012

The Avett Brothers – Terminal 5 – May 9, 2012

With unending energy and plenty of rowdy, country-music-tinged moments, the Avett Brothers put on a remarkable show for a sold-out audience last night at Terminal 5. Their sound, which ranged from AM radio to markedly twangy, never fell flat to any of the dancing fans in the venue. And this was no post–I and Love and You bandwagon crowd. It was several thousand unabashed people unafraid to get their hoedown on.

The two-brother band, from North Carolina, started the two-hour set with peppier offerings like “Tin Man” and “The Traveling Song,” but quickly made full use of the rest of their expanded lineup by pumping out heavy doses of cello and upright bass to go along with Scott Avett’s banjo. The songs grew louder and wilder, leading to some of the best moments of the night during “At the Beach,” which slowly wound down and transitioned into darkness for “Pretty Girl from Cedar Lane.”

But as lively as the set often turned, it was the quietest few songs that really hit home. Scott and Seth Avett took turns at the front of the stage, guitars unplugged, to sing into a single microphone. The eerily still crowd watched Scott perform the painfully personal “If I Get Murdered in the City,” followed by Seth doing “The Ballad of Love and Hate.” Before the full band returned, third full-time member Bob Crawford joined them for the traditional gospel song “Just a Closer Walk with Thee,” another anachronistic moment the band’s screaming fans embraced with open arms and wild cheers. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Ahron R. Foster |

(The Avett Brothers play Rumsey Playfield on 9/18.)