Arriving onstage to an absolutely jam-packed Button Factory, US folk rockers The Avett Brothers received quite a welcome from this Irish crowd. Post-Paddy’s Day hangovers were cast aside, and aches and pains forgotten as the band took the stage for what was lining up to be a serious night of music. Touring to promote new album ‘The Carpenter’, the band were kind enough to treat us to some old favourites, alongside the newer tunes. With the interesting combo of guitar, banjo, keys, double bass and cello, all backed by drums, the music produced is powerful, to say the least.
Opening with the song Hammer Down, the band have the crowd hooked instantly with their signature sound, which is only amplified in the following track Laundry Room. The strong rhythms and big harmonies set off an orchestra of singing, foot stamping and clapping in the crowd, with everyone really showing a love of this style of music – big, bold and unapologetic. Older track Go To Sleep receives the warmest of welcomes from the crowd, every person delighted to hear one of the old favourites make an appearance, and for good reason. Scott Avett takes lead vocals, punctuated by brother’s Seth’s almost-commentary on the lyrics, it makes for quite the performance.
I Killed Sally’s Lover was a particularly special moment. Opening with the most crazed of banjo lines, alongside a ferocious drum beat, it transformed the Button Factory into what would appear to be, to the untrained eye, some form of hoedown for the particularly demented. Through My Prayers provides a wonderful contrast, with stripped down presentation. The two brothers stand, under spotlights, with just their guitars, their voices blending in natural and pure harmony, nothing cosmetic or fake. If It’s The Beaches is another such tune, filled with raw emotional and personal experience. Kick Drum Heart is another one that gets the crowd dancing, starting off in a slightly pop-rock-folk blend, before exploding totally into a heavier rock sound, much to everyone’s delight. Closing with the sweet and understated I and Love and You, every pair of eyes in the Button Factory clung to the band, as they led the mass chorus through this beautiful song.
Returning for a highly demanded encore, the band bring the night to a close with The Perfect Space, another anthem that has everyone singing along, and swaying to the easy beat of the song. It cannot be argued that The Avett Brothers put on a show. From their sheer enthusiasm for their craft, to their onstage banter, they show a clear love of their trade. This night of music was one in particular that will be remembered for a long time to come, and is most definitely one of the top gigs of 2013 so far.
The Avett Brothers Photo Gallery
Photos: Sean Smyth