by Brian Corliss
Photo credit: Billboard.com
The Avett Brothers brought their distinctive brand of Southern rock to New York City Friday night for an incredible show at Brooklyn's Barclays Center that was both chaotic in its revel and beautiful in its intimacy. The band's latest album, Magpie and the Dandelion, is another excellent effort that displays the Brothers' penchant for deeply personal lyrics, twanging banjos, and somber men lost in love—as well as indie-rockin' southrons looking to have fun.
They kicked things off with "John Brown's Dream," in which the band came into the spotlights, one by one, until the stage was filled by the hard-strumming group. From there, they immediately displayed their musical prowess with Scott and Seth Avett's "Talk of Indolence," stirring the crowd into blissful turmoil incited by some impressive hair whipping by cellist Joe Kwon. Not long after was a terrific cover of John Denver's folk anthem "Thank God I'm a Country Boy."
Surprisingly, the North Carolina natives stayed away from loading the set list with songs from Magpie and the Dandelion, providing the crowd with a cross-section of hits from across their eight full-length albums. Most notably, songs off past albums like "Pretty Girl from Chile," "Kick Drum Heart," and "Live and Die" lifted the Brooklyn arena to deafening levels of festivity, while Scott Avett ran around the stage furiously plucking his banjo.