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Five thoughts: The Avett Brothers (August 29-31, Brooklyn Bowl)

The Avett Brothers at Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014, in the Linq Promenade.
Photo: Erik Kabik /
Chris Bitonti

1. The Avett Brothers brought a big crowd to Brooklyn Bowl for night one of their three-show residency, but that was nothing compared to Saturday and Sunday, which left no wiggle room whatsoever on the main floor.

2. When I interviewed bassist Bob Crawford prior to the band’s mini-residency, he promised the group would dig deep into its catalog over the course of the three shows. True to his word, the Avetts did, repeating very few songs nightly, with the exception of “Kick Drum Heart,” “Down With the Shine” and “Head Full of Doubt.” Each set also had a unique flow: Friday focused on live classics and innovative covers, Saturday saw the band go more obscure and Sunday combined old jams and a hefty dose of tunes off 2012’s The Carpenter.

The Avett Brothers at Brooklyn Bowl

3. Each time since the band first visited town in 2010, it has added members to its live roster. Last weekend saw the Vegas debut of violinist Tania Elizabeth, who complemented the previously all-man band with additional string melodies and high-harmony vocals.

4. The Avett Brothers have graduated from their once-unpolished live sound, dropping some DIY/more-with-less charm in favor of increased production value and four-part string harmonies. To my mind, they’re better than ever.

5. It’s not often adult siblings can make it through the holidays without a bit of drama, but after nearly 15 years of writing and performing together, the brotherhood bond of Scott and Seth Avett—musically and personally—was as apparent as ever. Eat your heart out, Donny and Marie.


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