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Avett Brothers Bring Sensitive, Soulful Sound to Akron

Suddenly%2C+twenty+feet+above+the+stage%2C+an+orange+neon+light+reading+%E2%80%9CThe+Avett+Brothers%E2%80%9D+as+well+as+purple+neon+lights+reading+%E2%80%9CTrue+Sadness%E2%80%9Dappeared.+The+lights+hit+my+retinas+and+sent+shivers+down+my+spine.+Photo+by+Ben+Connor.
Suddenly, twenty feet above the stage, an orange neon light reading “The Avett Brothers” as well as purple neon lights reading “True Sadness”appeared. The lights hit my retinas and sent shivers down my spine. Photo by Ben Connor.

Suddenly, twenty feet above the stage, an orange neon light reading “The Avett Brothers” as well as purple neon lights reading “True Sadness”appeared. The lights hit my retinas and sent shivers down my spine. Photo by Ben Connor.

Suddenly, twenty feet above the stage, an orange neon light reading “The Avett Brothers” as well as purple neon lights reading “True Sadness”appeared. The lights hit my retinas and sent shivers down my spine. Photo by Ben Connor.

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The Avett Brothers performed at the Akron Civic Theater on Nov. 16, bringing American folk rock to the rubber city along with generous doses of compassion, sincerity and felicity.

With no opening band, Scott and Seth Avett humbly took the stage, alongside double bassist Bob Crawford and cellist Joe Kwon.

They got right on with the show.

From slow and heartfelt songs about coping with struggles to banjo-filled madness that brought people to their feet to dance, their setlist portrayed the evolution of the music they’ve made through their fourteen-year journey together.

They opened with “In the Curve,” a song off of their 2007 album “Emotionalism,” which immediately livened the crowd. Next, they played a song from their 2012 album “The Carpenter” called “Live and Die.” The third song on the setlist was “Laundry Room,” which stood out as one of the many focal points in the performance.

Striking heart chords, the song explored a man’s confessed love to a girl he can’t have, starting off slow and steady and ending in a folky jam. It was a four-minute rollercoaster ride of emotion.

A few songs later, Seth Avett took a break from his guitar and sat down at the piano while brother Scott exchanged his banjo in for a microphone. This meant the band was ready to play their most famous song, “I And Love And You.” From the moment Seth touched his fingers to the piano keys, the whole crowd knew what was in store.

Everyone joined together in song and spirit as the Avett Brothers sang about a failing relationship and the struggle to say the words “I love you.” When the last notes on the piano played and the song came to an end, the performance filled our hearts with emotional energy and warmth.

The band was ready to play their most famous song, “I And Love And You.” From the moment Seth touched his fingers to the piano keys, the whole crowd knew what was in store.”

The Avett Brothers are touring to raise excitement for their new album, True Sadness, so it made sense that they jammed out to a few new tunes. The stage turned dark, and the only thing people could see were the red exit signs in the background of the theater.

Suddenly, twenty feet above the stage, an orange neon light reading “The Avett Brothers” as well as purple neon lights reading “True Sadness” hit my retinas and sent shivers down my spine. Seth and Scott sang in harmony as a single light shined down on them. It goes to show the range the band can have, in terms of both their talent and their emotional range.  

Sitting in the upper tier of the theater, I had a great perspective on how the fans reacted to the music. As a high schooler, I don’t really know too many other people who share this taste in music, so it softened my heart to see hundreds of people dancing to the music I love.

For their last song of the night, the Avett Brothers performed “Living of Love,” a song that carries the message that whatever one does in life, it should come from a place of love and happiness. When this song came to an end, they gracefully bowed to their audience and walked off stage. The applause was deafening.

I was brought to my feet as the cheering continued for what seemed like an eternity, but was actually about three minutes, until eventually the band came back on stage and humbly agreed to an encore. They played three more songs, each better than the last, to end their captivating, emotional, and blood-rushing performance. As they thanked the crowd for their time, they threw copies of the setlist out to the crowd of flailing hands, eventually making their way to the darkness backstage.

Ready to leave, I put my coat on. Still in awe of what I just witnessed, I thought to myself, did this really just happen?

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Avett Brothers Bring Sensitive, Soulful Sound to Akron