This has been the summer of rainy outdoor concerts and the Avett Brothers on 18 September was going to be no different. But the thunderstorm turned out to be so windy and the lightening so dangerous that they postponed the concert to the 24th, which was a beautiful fall evening.
Surprisingly I haven’t been to a concert for a month so I should have been very hyped for this. Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling well but I was hoping that the crowd and the music would pump me up.
SummerStage wasn’t sold out for this show, so I easily found rtb in the bleachers. Each of us got some food (very long lines – the hipster joints need to hire real New Yorkers to work their booths) and we talked and watched the bleachers and the field fill up.
The Avett Brothers are part of the current American roots music movement – combining bluegrass, folk, country, pop, and punk to create an old rootsy American sound brought into the 21st century. They are definitely one of the leaders and one of the best.
If you’re only familiar with “I And Love And You,” which is a brilliant song, you need to hear their other songs and to see them live. The band goes from the softly romantic to the wildly energetic – sometimes within the same song. rtb got up at one point to get closer to the stage and to dance. I joyfully danced in my seat.
The band went from Scott Avett (banjo, vocals, keyboards) and Seth Avett (guitar, vocals, keyboards) singing duets and then Bob Crawford joining them on stand-up bass and electric bass and Joe Kwon playing cello while standing and dancing and spinning around. Jacob Edwards played on some songs on drums and keyboards. Scott and Seth make some of the most beautiful harmonies.
The stage set-up was simple – a velvet red curtain drawn up and a backdrop that was a map of roses.
Nicole Atkins came out for the encore and sang two songs with the band. Is there a concert in NYC where Atkins doesn’t join the band? Does she bogart everyone’s encores? And when does she have time to perform her own shows?
The Avetts kept talking about all the love they were getting from NYC. But they gave us back that love in spades.
By Carene Lydia Lopez