In 2023, the jewel of Niagara County in Artpark is celebrating it’s 50 year anniversary. What a way to open the season then to bring back one of the bands who has a huge following in the Western New York area. That band is none other than the Avett Brothers. The Avett Brothers have graced the Artpark stage in 2010, 2013, and 2015. The bands core consists of Scott Avett on vocals, guitar, banjo and piano; Seth Avett on guitar and vocals; Bob Crawford on bass and Joe Kwon on cello. They have 3 additional touring musicians Mike Marsh on drums, Tania Elizabeth on violin & vocals and Bonnie Avett-Rini on piano to fill out their sound. If you never heard of the band’s music, imagine a musical gumbo that consisted of folk, indie, bluegrass, rock and Americana.
Even though its been 4 year since the band has released new music, they have plenty of past material (10 studio albums) to grab from. The band is known to switch up their set lists and the show at Artpark was no different. The band opened up with “Laundry Room” and it seemed like the perfect track to get the audiences juice’s flowing. The way the track ends with a build up crescendo flows perfectly into the next tune “Old Joe Clark.” The crowd sang in unison during “Shame.” During the song “High Steppin’,” The song is about someone looking for hope. During it, Seth Avett took the microphone to talk to the crowd and asked if everyone believed in hope, the crowd responded with an overwhelming yes! Everyone clapped every time the band reached the chorus of “Kick Drum Heart.” Bonnie Avett-Rini came out from behind the keys and handled lead vocals on “Closer Walk with Thee.” Her angelic voice just killed it on this song. Seth and Scott just had an electric and acoustic in hand as they had the stage to themselves for “Ten Thousand Words.” “True Sadness” only had the Avett Brothers, Crawford and Elizabeth on stage. “Live and Die’ the entire band came back out to join them. You can say that “Vanity” was probably the most rocking track track of the set.
I been covering shows at Artpark for about 15 years. this might have been the best sounding show I have attended. It’s been 8 long years, but the band came back and delivered performance that the rest of the 2023 acts at Artpark will have to live up to. There was little chatter in between songs as the band let the music do the talking. 25 songs and 2 hours later, you can say they certainly did that.
Old Joe Clark (The Kingston Trio cover)
Go to Sleep
Closer Walk with Thee
Ten Thousand Words
I Wish I Was
Paranoia in B-Flat Major
Live and Die
Down With the Shine
Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise
Kick Drum Heart
Who Will I Hold
Ain’t No Man
Murder in the City
Black Mountain Rag (Doc & Merle Watson cover)
Talk on Indolence
No Hard Feelings
We would like to thank Jordan Oscar from Artpark in his assistance in obtaining the credentials so BackstageAxxess could review the show.