SIOUX CITY | It doesn’t take long to get on the same page as the Avett Brothers.
In a song or two, they can create new fans, please old ones and push away the thought of impending winter.
At the Orpheum Theatre on Thursday night, the North Carolina boys recalled a bit of summer with a set that was so bouncy and infectious it’d be a shame if anyone left without becoming a convert.
Playing more instruments than most band nerds, Scott and Seth opened a vein or two with songs like “The Perfect Space” and “Distraction #74,” spreading their brand of Americana in a forceful, immediate way.
Cellist Joe Kwon and bassist Bob Crawford helped the two get a song so big it seemed like an entire symphony orchestra was in the house.
The faithful? They sang along with songs like “Live and Die” and cheered when Seth announced that untitled forthcoming album would feature “Mama,” a song that talks about disappointment and features those raucous instrumentals.
While Scott (the banjo player, if you’re keeping score) has a more soulful voice, Seth provides the necessary balance and detail. Their sound is an incredible one – upbeat, despite many of the lyrics that address disappointment.
Working on a set filled with hanging pieces of fabric (and lots of lighting effects), they got more exercise moving from one end to the other, repeatedly. It’s no surprise they’re thinner than thin and able to offer their own riff on Bruno Mars.
While much of what the Avetts do is classified as “Americana,” it’s actually its own beast – a combination of everything from indie rock to traditional country. Key to the sound is the instrumentation. Five musicians back the brothers and create the wall of sound that’s immediately attractive.
Tania Elizabeth, the band’s violinist, got her own solo turn (in a halo of light) that even included a little singing and a whole lot of impressive playing.
Not to be outdone, the brothers answered her with their own showy stringplay.
Fun? Oh, yeah. They knew how to bring it and then some.
Now if the Avett Brothers ever want to add a female singer to their group, they might consider Jill Andrews. Opening the Thursday night show, she possessed an angelic, sweet voice that worked well with some very touching lyrics.
A tribute to her 6-year-old son, Nico, was particularly moving. But Andrews got great support from Seth Avett on “I’m So In Love With You,” a cut from her new CD, “The War Inside.” The two blended nicely.
Interestingly, Andrews was supported only by another guitarist and yet she was able to make some big music.
Laid back and friendly (she even talked about shopping at Target during a hailstorm), she seemed like a latter-day Alison Krauss to the Avetts' Union Station.