The Avett Brothers have a way with lyrics, always managing to achieve something poetic and emotionally impacting without coming off as anything other than real and relative. They don't turn a mirror on the listener..they are the listener. They are all of us.
They'll put the biggest man in touch with his emotions and make him do so without an ounce of shame. In fact, he'll probably cheer it. Everyone loves and everyone hurts and the Avetts are simply singing the story with us.
If you feel at all, you'll have tears of joy and of sadness when seeing this band perform (an activity I highly suggest to anyone). They are a true gem.
"They're a folk band that plays like a punk band."
That was the description I gave after my first Avett Brothers show many years back. Over the years, as they've expanded and drawn more attention, they've managed to hold on to that "thing" that continues to make them the best live band out of the hundreds I've seen. That "thing" is simply the pouring of every drop of their humanity into their performance. It's a cliche to say that someone will "leave everything on the stage." However, I really am awed at how they can empty their souls each night and step before a crowd to do it again the next.
On the second occasion of my attending an Avett show, I watched as the poor roadie scrambled back and forth from the stage over the course of one song, during which Scott Avett managed to shred his banjo three times to the point of snapping most of the strings, rendering it unplayable until the roadie fixed it. Three times. During one song.
I'm tempted to toss a bunch of videos of the live performances, but YouTube just isn't capable of communicating the chemistry of the room when the Avetts play live. So watch this one and then go.
Go see it. Come back and convince me you didn't enjoy yourself, that it wasn't one of the best evenings of live entertainment you've ever witness. Just go.