The secret was out a few years ago, but now everyone knows about the Avett Brothers. That includes your neighbor who doesn't listen to cool music and only recently asked if you if you'd heard about some band called Wilco. For all of you helping to spread the word about this band, please contribute to the effort of letting people know it's "Avett" where the "a" is pronounced like in "apron" or "acorn," not like the "a" in "apple."
The Avett Brothers over the last few years have truly hit full stride and now have amazing potential to become the next big thing, if they are not already. As with any band, there are of course the long time fans who long for the days of bluegrass flavored songs, but I don't think TAB have lost very many fans along the way. The sold out show at the Boulder Theater last Friday was quite a different scene than the Boulder Theater 3 years ago, my first Avett concert, in which one could stake out some space near the stage and never have to worry about the crowd packing in around you.
The band has also reached a point in which they simply have too many good songs to play them all in one show. They hit as many of the high points as possible, but inevitably time doesn't allow for all the crowd favorites. I'm glad that there is such great tracking on their set lists online, as my scribbles from the night proved largely illegible. Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside, a Portland based band, provided a nice opening set that was well received by the increasingly packed crowd.
As I think anyone who has seen the band would expect, their live show is near flawless. The new songs from the forthcoming I and Love and You indicate a band that continues to grow musically, but still knows exactly where their strengths lie - most specifically in dynamic melodies solidified by harmonies that could come from nothing short of genetic ties. Just as with any artist who continues to grow after they strike it big, I'm sure the message boards will be mixed in the beginning with people who love the album and those who just can't get into songs such as "Kick Drum Heart." However, I don't think it will take long for the album to sink in and settle into place on some end-of-year and maybe even some end-of-decade "best of" lists. The title track, already released on itunes and widely available elsewhere, already holds a clear place among the band's best songs.
I haven't been this excited about a new album since, well...probably The Second Gleam.