Avett Brothers at Ottawa Folk Festival

Avett Brothers

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The Avett Brothers visited Ottawa saturday night for the headlining slot at the Ottawa Folk Festival and offered a full set to a very happy crowd despite any of the water that was falling from the sky.  The rain did make for an interesting addition to the lighting around the stage as it seemed to flow in time with the songs of the Avett's.

Scott and Seth's vocal harmonies are nearly perfectly aligned with the way the melodies are constructed in nearly every song that they play, most probably taking cues from Lennon/McCartney in both the hooks, unexpected chord changes and bridges.  The song structure and overall arrangement and feel in songs like Will You Return? had strong flavours of early Beatles sounds.  It was tough to pinpoint the exact reference, but soungs like I Wanna Hold Your Hand, or even From Me To You hold alot of the 'technique' (minus the Ringo beat and the high pitched 'Ooooooooo!').  It might be difficult to catch that musical quotation, but having a listen to the bass, and tight harmony 'ahhhhs' will turn the light on.

The band performed with a very high energy, probably in an effort to fight the rain, even when the tempo dropped below 90 bpm since they would go double time in no time.  Seeing Joe Kwon on cello REALLY GETTING INTO his cello helps to send a reminder that the band isn't just about Scott and Seth Avett.  It was entirely surprising at times to realize how many layers were stacked throughout each of the songs.

This was a fantastic booking for the Ottawa Folk Festival since no one could confirm if the Avett's ever played in Ottawa before.  This show would certainly be considered their first and successful performance on an Ottawa stage.  Hopefully it put Ottawa on their tour map for the future.