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A dynamic Avett Brothers set

The N.C. band pack the PAC: a live review

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The Avett Brothers, Slow Runner
North Charleston Performing Arts Center
Sept. 17

Carolina punkgrass rockers The Avett Brothers packed the Performing Arts Center last Thursday night, suggesting that their Charleston following could almost rival their Concord/Charlotte home base — then again, they might just be getting this big everywhere.

The expansive venue nearly sold out, and from the time the band hit the stage (after a fun opening set from Slow Runner), the crowd was on its feet — a rare sight at the rather straight-laced PAC.

The trio were joined on stage by cellist and touring member Joe Kwon for most of the songs, and if you've never seen anyone rock out a cello, you're missing out — Kwon played the crap out of that thing. In fact, all of the guys wailed on their respective instruments on many of the songs, something the trio's become known for with their live shows.

The crowd went wild for hoe-down happy tunes like "Shame" and "I Killed Sally's Lover." Things calmed a bit in between by the slower, acoustic ballads more reflective of their studio sound, like the rather long-winded "Ballad of Love and Hate," which Seth performed solo, along with a few other mellower songs.

After receiving an enthusiastic standing O, the Brothers returned to the stage to play the title track from their new album, "I and Love and You," followed by the hard-rocking "Kick Drum Heart," which saw Seth on the full drum set, Bob Crawford on electric bass, and Scott on keyboard. They practically rapped their way through the closing song, "Talk on Indolence," leaving the night on an elated note.

Between the lullaby-like ballads and the head-banging hits, the old favorites and the newer soon-to-be-favorites, the show was a roller coaster ride taking us through the Avett Brothers' past and giving a little hint of the future.

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