Monday, September 27, 2010

Concert Review | The Avett Brothers at The Pageant in Saint Louis

Photo by Katie Guymon

"What you were then I am today / Look at the things I do..."

For as big as The Avett Brothers have become in recent years, it seems like the band from North Carolina is still indifferent to one word that has been hard to say: stardom. But all you had to do was look around The Pageant on Friday evening to immediately recognize The Avetts can now park their bus near that mansion on the hill. The crowd (filled with beautiful women, I must admit) spilled into the aisles, and at the end of the main set, all Scott Avett had to do was hold up three fingers, and almost everyone knew what to do: happily nerd out and countdown with him to "I and Love and You."

For The Avett Brothers, to enjoy and love stardom is not to bury the fans that have been with them down every road.

Photo by Katie Guymon

The price of fame, it seems, is not borrowed. With plenty of albums and songs under their belts, The Avett Brothers are in a fine position to do whatever they want during a live performance, which was quite evident at The Pageant. Many times, the band would huddle for a minute, deciding what to hit the crowd with next. You could argue this is a flaw of their live show - that momentum fades, especially when there is a slight pause before a ballad, not an up-tempo jump starter.

Photo by Katie Guymon

But, again, these are the rules The Avett Brothers have created for themselves: to treat their setlists like Christmas morning. There are choices, there are things to unwrap, there is a slight mystery in the air. The Avett Brothers like to flirt with disappointment as much as they do with greatness.

Photo by Katie Guymon

Not that anyone was disappointed at The Pageant. The moments of greatness were many: the beauty of the opening song, "November Blue," the transition from "Salina" to the eccentric "Kick Drum Heart," the back-to-back-to-back glory of "When I Drink," "Shame," and  "Paranoia in B Flat Major," and the building energy of the final encore of the night, "Laundry Room."

Photo by Katie Guymon

And you could argue that the beauty of an Avett Brothers show is to wait for these moments - when the band explodes or gently builds into a song that you love. They explored seven different albums/EPs at The Pageant, and while they played most of their latest I and Love and You, it wasn't as if that was the focus; in fact, it's hard to point to one focus of the entire show other than to assume that almost nothing is planned, other than to have a great time.

Photo by Katie Guymon

"Decide what to be, and go be it," The Avetts sang on "Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise," which was delivered early in the set. If there ever was a lyric that summed up the band's road to success, that would be it. Personally, I want to believe that The Avett Brothers will always stay this way: embracing stardom as if it almost doesn't exist and focusing on what is real: their songs, their words, their passion, and the lives of their fans that will forever be changed.

To see the entire album of Katie's photos from the show, go here. And don't forget to give Speakers in Code a like on our Facebook page!

2 comments:

  1. The Avett Brothers suck. That is all.

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  2. I've heard there quite good live, I don't mind them!

    ReplyDelete