While the Firefly Music Festival is a mecca for indie rock bands, one band stands out for every single festival attendee. The Avett Brothers is that band for me.
I was introduced to the North Carolina group the same way many are introduced to new music these days. Pandora with a YouTube follow-up. They had me at "Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise" when I heard them for the first time six month ago.
The band, formed by brothers/frontmen Scott and Seth Avett, can be compared to similar folk/bluegrass bands like the Felice Brothers, The Head and the Heart or Old Crow Medicine Show, with their use of solid acoustic instruments like the banjo, the upright bass and harmonica.
As the sun began to set and the evening breeze showed up, the Avett Brothers delivered their best and brightest Friday evening in front of a packed Firefly crowd on The Main Stage at 7:15 p.m.
For more than an hour and a half, the group had festival-goers on their feet, swaying to their acoustic hits and hopping from toe to toe to their pop jams.
With fan favorites like "Down with the Shine," "Kick Drum Heart" and "Laundry Room," the Avett Brothers satisfied long-time fans and maybe even secured a few more. The guys had the crowd amped and ready for more with each song in their set.
Seth Avett even gave fans in the front row a treat by crowd surfing while continuing to play his acoustic guitar and keep the jam rolling on.
The hightlight for many though, especially those who parked themselves in front of the stage waiting for the Red Hot Chili Peppers who were scheduled for 10:30 p.m., was a surprise guest appearance from the Peppers' Chad Smith on drums helping the Avett Brothers perform "Paul Newman Vs. The Demons." A jam session that worked perfectly for both parties.
While their set left the crowd feeling good, we wanted more when it came time to say goodbye. We begged for an encore, and the Avett Brothers delivered.
"We don't want to leave," yelled Scott Avett. "We're so lucky to share this time with ya'll, so we'll stay up here as long as we can."
And wouldn't you know, included in their three-song encore was an amazing "I and Love and You" and, of course, "Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise" − A perfect end to a perfect set.