The Avett Brothers are in the middle of a 70-date tour in support of their upcoming major-label debut, I and Love and You, which comes out on September 29. They brought their Americana blend of bluegrass, gospel, old-time country, punk and honky-tonk to the Akron Civic Theatre Friday night.
Many of the tour stops have included lots of tunes from the new album, but they played only a couple at the Civic — the title track and "It Goes On and On."
But much of the older material has never sounded better. "Swept Away," "Gift for Melody Anne" and "Complainted D’vn Matelot Mourant" were all highlights, as was the seldom-covered Townes Van Zandt song "Greensboro Woman."
Fan favorites like "Salina," "Murder in the City," and "Talk on Indolence" were shuffled into the mix with a few new songs ("Glistening Shine," "Skin and Bones") that probably won't end up on I and Love and You.
The encore, "Will You Return," featured some help by local singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield and her brother David, who joined the band onstage for the singalong. —Jeremy Hills