The Avett Brothers headline the first night of Roots N Blues

From tears to clapping to dancing around, the Avett Brothers definitely moved their large audience on the opening night of the Roots N Blues festival.

The banjos, kick drums and electric guitars of the brothers Scott and Seth Avett, along with Bob Crawford’s bass and Joe Kwon’s cello, brought their folk melodies to the MO Lottery Stage at Stephens Lake Park on the first night of this year’s Roots N Blues festival.

As the first day headliners, the Avett Brothers were probably the most awaited performance of the night. The rock and bluegrass influences of the band from North Carolina made a large crowd dance and sing along to their tunes.

Although some songs made the audience jump and clap to the rhythm, such as the upbeat song “Kick Drum Heart” from the 2009 album “I and Love and You,” their best-known works are ballads with calm, slow melodies. These types of songs brought fans to tears with hits like “I Wish I Was,” which is on their newest album “True Sadness,” and the intimist tone of “Morning Song” from the album “Magpie and the Dandelion.”

However, the most awaited song of the set ended the night being the last of the band’s two-song encore. “No Hard Feelings,” also from their new album “True Sadness,” really moved the public. The audience sang along to the sentimental, deep lyrics written by the Avett Brothers. During the encore, they also played the band’s rendition of “Lucky Stranger” by David Childers.

The set was really energetic, even though the band does not typically play upbeat songs. The musicians also really interacted with the audience, talking to the fans and responding to people singing along to their lyrics. Scott Avett, multi-instrumentalist and one of the lead singers, even walked off the stage to sing next to the crowd between the barricades.

“This isn’t really the era in history where you can do that without a laser light show and dancers and all that stuff,” Scott Avett said. “To just stick with music feels really special. Thank you for making it such a special thing, we appreciate it very much…. we’re working on getting a laser light show, don’t worry.”

By the end of the encore, the Avett Brothers’ set was over, leaving behind an audience that danced, sang and even shed some tears. This stage also had (Sturgill Simpson)[https://move.themaneater.com/stories/insight/sturgill-simpson-offers-impassioned-driving-performance-at-roots-n-blues-n-bbq] as a headliner on Sept. 29 and (Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats)[https://move.themaneater.com/stories/music/roots-n-blues-artist-insider-nathaniel-rateliff-ni] on Sept. 30.

Edited by Alexandra Sharp | asharp@themaneater.com

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