From Fisher Road to Hollywood

One of my most anticipated concerts of this spring was The Milk Carton Kids and The Avett Brothers  at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 29, 2016. I’ve seen both these bands within the last couple years, so I already had an idea of what to expect. Having purchased a pit ticket I arrived early and was able to secure a place front and ever-so-slightly off center, which is exactly where I like to be for a show. It was great to be in the pit to be close to the performers.

DSC05604

The Milk Carton Kids: Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale

The Milk Carton Kids are a subdued duo combining beautiful harmonies between Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale, poetic lyrics, and stunning guitar runs. Unfortunately, the crowd streaming into the venue and chatting through the first few songs of the set felt distracting and disjointed to the connection between artist and audience.  It may have even been bothering the musicians as they made a false start at the beginning of “New York” and had to stop and regroup, Kenneth remarking “It’s been a long year.” It felt like they finally grabbed the attention of the crowd with their cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” as the audience became more focused on the stage and less on themselves after that point. The pair took a long break to tell the story of “Charlie” to the audience prior to playing it and after the song there were a few women in the pit vocally volunteering to be Charlie’s mama. When introducing “I Still Want a Little More,” Joey remarked, “We’ve been together six years and over that time, it’s become really clear that Kenneth is the better guitar player.” While true, Joey provides a rock solid foundation with his playing from which Kenneth can confidently launch his mind-boggling lightning fast solos.   I can’t really list highlights as I love every single one of the songs they played, though maybe “New York” and “Michigan” a smidgen more than the others.

The Milk Carton Kids full set list was as follows:

  1. Hope of a Lifetime” from The Ash & Clay
  2. The Ash & Clay” from The Ash & Clay
  3. The City of Our Lady” from Monterey
  4. New York” from Prologue
  5. Wish You Were Here” (Pink Floyd cover)
  6. Heaven” from The Ash & Clay
  7. Charlie” from Retrospect (as Kenneth Pattengale & Joey Ryan)
  8. Michigan” from Prologue
  9. I Still Want a Little More” from Prologue
  10. Girls, Gather ’round” from Retrospect (as Kenneth Pattengale & Joey Ryan)
  11. Snake Eyes” from The Ash & Clay

 

DSC05653

The Avett Brothers Perform at The Greek Theatre

If one can wish for an ideal concert experience, at least imagining what the music side of that would be like, I’ve learned that The Avett Brothers are genies at making wishes come true. The band kicked off the show with a lively instrumental from an early album, “The D Bag Rag,” then quickly snatched up any casual fans by playing the popular “Down With the Shine,” which is great as a crowd singalong. They played a diverse selection of songs from their repertoire, mixing together old and new songs, rocking the crowd as well as slowing the tempo right down, and singing of the emotional highs and lows one experiences in a lifetime. There was so much material covered in their lyrics that one could relate to and the music backing the message was first-rate.

DSC05616

Seth Avett

DSC05620

Bob Crawford

Throughout the show Scott and Seth Avett sought variety by changing guitars, switching to banjo or piano, or putting down the instruments to focus on vocals and hand-clapping the rhythm. Members of the band provided superb accompaniment: Bob Crawford on bass; Joe Kwon on cello, Paul Defiglia on piano, Mike Marsh on drums, and Tania Elizabeth on violin. The band members performed with so much energy and heart it would be difficult not to be enraptured by their work. Their efforts made for an outstanding, authentic show, which never felt predictable. Joe and Tania particularly added a lot of flare and talent to the evening. Are there any other cello players that perform standing up, sometimes playing while moving around the stage?  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it before.

DSC05650

The Avett Brothers Cellist Joe Kwon

DSC05590A particularly special moment for me was then Scott and Seth came to the front of the stage, mere feet from were I was standing. When I had arrived, I had noticed the tape on edge of the stage marking “things will happen here.” It was a wonderful teaser of a message, which held true to its word. They played two new songs “Fisher Road to Hollywood” and “I Wish I Were” from this position. Check out the links for the videos I shot of those two tunes that night. The songs will be on the forthcoming album True Sadness. Of course, I have to use the line “From Fisher Road to Hollywood” for the post title.

DSC05677

Scott Avett

The Avett Brothers set list was:

  1. The D Bag Rag” from A Carolina Jubilee
  2. Down With the Shine” from The Carpenter
  3. Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise” from I and Love and You
  4. Ain’t No Man” from True Sadness
  5. Die Die Die” from Emotionalism
  6. Talk on Indolence” from Four Thieves Gone
  7. Part From Me“from Magpie and the Dandelion
  8. Laundry Room” from I and Love and You
  9. Live and Die” from The Carpenter
  10. Fisher Road to Hollywood” from True Sadness
  11. I Wish I Was” from True Sadness
  12. DSC05692

    Tania Elizabeth

    Murder in the City” from The Gleam II

  13. Le Reel Du Pendu/Les Bars De La Prison” performed by Tania Elizabeth
  14. True Sadness” from True Sadness
  15. Country Blues” (Doc Watson cover)
  16. Living of Love” from Emotionalism
  17. Vanity” from Magpie and the Dandelion
  18. Slight Figure of Speech” from I and Love and You
  19. I and Love and You” from I and Love and You

Encore

  1. Mama Tried” (Merle Haggard cover)
  2. The Fall” from Four Thieves Gone
  3. Morning Song” from Magpie and the Dandelion
DSC05702

Seth Avett with a Gorgeous Guitar

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s