The Avett Brothers entertain the Whitt

By SAMANTHA PEARSON
On April 20, 2012

When The Avett Brothers took to the stage on Tuesday at the Whittemore Center Arena, the energy in the room was palpable. But the crowd didn't look anything like what one would expect at a UNH concert. Only about 10 percent of the 2,300 tickets sold were sold to students; the rest of the attendees were non-students, according to Whitt Event Coordinator Carrie Barron, .

"The atmosphere was great," Barron said. "People enjoyed the show and we have received excellent feedback."

The floor sold out, with 1,500 people occupying the space on Tuesday night. The band didn't have an opening act and hit the stage right on time at 8 p.m. Almost immediately the crowd, which had been fairly calm and collected prior to the start of the show, started dancing, clapping and singing along.

"The floor was very popular," Barron said.

It was easy to see why. The Avett Brothers, an alternative folk band often cited as one of the primary movers in the folk revival movement of the last decade or so, performed with great energy. Co-founders Scott Avett and Seth Avett harmonized beautifully and the band played a solid mix of new and old works, pulling from their extensive discography.

Formed in 2000 in North Carolina, the band has since produced six full-length albums and four EPs, as well as three live albums. Their most recent record, I and Love and You, hit #16 on the US sales charts. The band ended the main portion of their show on Tuesday night with the title track from the album.

At 9 p.m., about an hour before the show ended, Scott stood alone on stage under a spotlight and performed "Murder in the City." Originally written in 2007, Scott changed the lyrics in 2011 after the birth of his son; his daughter was born in 2008.

The original lyrics were "Make sure my sister knows I loved her / make sure my mother knows the same." The new lyrics are "Make sure my daughter knows I loved her / Make sure my son knows the same." It was in this fashion that Avett announced the sex of his second child at a show in London after two canceled tour dates.

On Tuesday, the lyrics earned massive response from the crowd at the Whitt. When Seth joined his brother after "Murder In the City" on stage for some more acoustic work, the crowd got even louder. In addition to performing as just a duo, the brothers also took a moment to share some childhood memories.

"[Seth] used to bounce a basketball on his head when he was about this tall," Scott said. "Now he's taller than me. I remember one day, he punched me square in the nose."

"Scott's recently taken to telling random childhood stories," Seth added.

This acoustic portion of the show went on for about 20 minutes, and then the rest of the band rejoined the brothers for the remainder of the performance. Energy was high throughout the entire show, both from the band and from the audience.

Now that the Whitt has opened its doors to independent contractors after several years of only sponsoring live music brought in by SCOPE, Barron suspects that live music will continue to be a prominent feature on the UNH campus. The shift also makes the Whitt the largest concert venue on the Seacoast.

For more information about the Avett Brothers, take a look at www.theavettbrothers.com or find them on Facebook. They can also be found on Twitter @theavettbros. A full list of upcoming events at the Whitt can be found at www.whittcenter.com.


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