By: Derek Jung
Seeing any musical act in a sports arena is a gamble. For one, the sound system built into stadiums are not made to handle the intricate sounds of a live band. They also are not shaped to handle the way sound travels in space. We see this almost every night at Reds games with the now infamous wooing that echoes through the mostly empty stadium. The last act I had the displeasure of seeing at Great American Ballpark was Billy Currington during All Star Weekend. It didn't go well, and luckily we only had to endure two songs from the country star. Because of this, I didn't have high hopes for The Avett Brothers, who have a much larger, fuller sound.
The stage for The Avett Brothers was, unlike Currington's positioning, directly behind second base facing home. I can't imagine what the sound was like for anyone behind the stage in the outfield, or even more down the first or third baseline, but where we were sitting, we had a good view of the stage. Speaking of which, there were seven people in the band packed on a tiny stage, much of which was taken up by drums, a piano, and keyboards. For a band with as much on-stage energy as The Avett Brothers, I was worried we wouldn't get the full effect. Thankfully, my worries were quickly dashed, but not without some downsides. As I feared, the sound was immediately an issue for those of us in the upper seats in the stadium. The speakers in the upper levels were a good half second behind the on field speakers, which we could still hear. This resulted in an almost unbearable echo for the first few songs. Eventually, the sound evened out (or our ears got used to the echo) and the show progressed like normal.
The band, who headlined Bunbury Festival in 2015, returned a month later but have not been back to Cincinnati since the release of their latest album True Sadness. It was nice to hear a few new songs live, even though I thought the album as a whole was lacking in the punchiness that I've come to expect from Avett Brother releases. Most of the night, however, was dominated by their acclaimed 2009 album I and Love and You, and the band still puts the same amount of energy into it as they always have.
Our show was also one of the last for multi-instrumentalist Paul Defiglia, who departed the band less than a few weeks later. The band is on tour through the beginning of next year, so you'll have plenty of chances to see them on the road in the coming months.
Live and Die
Satan Pulls the Strings
Another Is Waiting
Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise
Ain't No Man
Paranoia in B-Flat Major
Talk on Indolence
I and Love and You
Kick Drum Heart
I Shall Be Released (Bob Dylan cover)
Who are we?
Derek Jung and Joseph Kathmann -- Just two ordinary (debatable) guys that love talking about music. You can read more about us here: