You’ve never heard of punk bluegrass before? Well, me either until I heard the Avett Brothers play Saturday night at the Town Ballroom. They are primarily a bluegrass band, but their songs reflect a punk influence. And I’m laughing as I write this because I never would have expected to come across such a group, but there they were up on stage in downtown Buffalo. You don’t believe me? Well, check out their performance on Conan O’Brien below and tell me what you think!

Here’s the lowdown on the show. The band consists of four members, all of whom contribute vocals. The Avett brothers play banjo and acoustic guitar primarily, though both play drums and electric guitar also. The other two band members play cello and sting bass, and the bassist also plays bass guitar. You could have told me as much and without seeing them I would have already been impressed because 1. I love the diversity, and 2. how many bands can boast a cellist? That’s seriously cool. The band has no drummer per se, instead the Avett’s play bass drum and cymbals with their feet while they are playing lead banjo/guitar! They also happen to be the two lead singers. Watching them do all this at once boggled my mind.

The title of the post refers to something that Scotty Avett said during one of their many pauses midstream as either he or his brother momentarily stopped to tune their instruments, which pretty much reflects the spirit of the show and maybe the band in general. They played with such ferocity that one or the other of them broke a string more or less every song, which meant frequent swapping out of instruments. But this did nothing to slow them down because they had backups on hand and were adept at improvising midstream while wiggling out of one guitar strap into another. It truly was a sight to behold.

Finally, thank you WordPress and Mike Loranty because Stan tells it, it’s thanks to this blog and my one regular reader (other than Stan, who doesn’t have a choice) that we first heard mention of this band. That’s enough reason for me to keep writing because I had an awesome time at the show and it completely made up for the disaster of a night at the Matt Good concert the previous night.