The Avett Brothers recently finished a sold out, three night stay at the Chicago Theatre. Each day the crowd got their photos of the marquee and grabbed their drinks before the room fell silent and stood at attention as brothers Scott and Seth, bass player Bob Crawford, cellist Joe Kwon and the backing band took the stage.
They performed an extremely varied set each evening. The Thursday night show that I was fortunate enough to attend included personal favorites “If It’s the Beaches” and “Talk on Indolence”. They also paid tribute to fallen brother Prince, who had passed earlier that day, with a cover of “When Doves Cry” during their own “Pretty Girl from Annapolis”.
The Chicago Theatre provides such a unique experience in part due to being a seated venue. Everyone having their own assigned seat and easily being able to see the performance is new for me as I’m used to being forced into other people in the pits of shows in smaller clubs. The soundscape of the Chicago Theatre was spectacular. The balance allowed space for the many vocals, guitar, banjo, bass, cello, violin, piano and drums.
The stage and venue sets a scene where the word “performance” is more accurate than “show”. The audience watched in a mystified version of staring as if the whole thing were a movie. The Avett Brothers are no strangers to high energy performances but that night they played a more subdued yet still very powerful set that fit the atmosphere perfectly.
As amazing as the whole band playing together was, the most beautiful part of the performance came mid-set when the brothers shared a microphone with only Bob backing them. It comes through so clearly that The Avett Brothers love what they do and mean what they say.