Brothers and Turtles: Fall Break’s Folk-Filled Weekend
There’s a gentle light glowing amid the darkness of the stage. The crowd steadily begins to roar as the band walks on. No one can tell which person is which in the darkness, only that they are holding guitars, banjos and upright basses — or at least that’s what they appear to be.
But soon, beards become visible, and the familiar voice of Seth Avett engages the crowd as the band begins their first number. A breeze begins to settle, and the light smell of beer fills the nostrils. Soon, all that matters is what the band will place next.
October is an exciting, albeit busy, month, with a constant array of homework, speeches and midterms to fill in the gaps. Students must find some way to escape. Luckily, October means a change in weather and a long list of concerts to celebrate the season.
An up-and-coming folky favorite, Trampled By Turtles, is playing at George’s Majestic Lounge Oct. 15. The next evening, the Avett Brothers will be playing at the Arkansas Music Pavillion.
Early last spring, Trampled By Turtles released their latest record, “Stars and Satellites,” to lauded success, more so than their last albums. Similarly, the Avett Brothers released their much-anticipated album “The Carpenter” just last month. According to the Billboard Top 100, the Avett Brothers’ newest collection of songs reached No. 4.
“Personally, I think ‘I and Love and You’ and ‘Emotionalism’ are better albums than ‘The Carpenter,’” said Andrew Thomas, junior English major. “With that being said, ‘The Carpenter’ is a great follow-up to the smash hit ‘I and Love and You.’”
The band went through a series of difficult events that show candidly on their newest release. “The Carpenter” is a much slower album than their previous releases.
“I like the faster and more energetic Avett Brothers. It’s much more entertaining,” said Trent Leslie, junior psychology major. “Lately, I’ve been listening to Trampled By Turtles because they are more like what I want a folk band to be like.”
Both bands contain similar instruments, some similar songs and even similar harmonies, but their showmanships differ completely. For one, Trampled By Turtles has a mandolin in it, and their songs are mostly fueled by a fast-paced foot stomping to keep time. On the other hand, the Avett Brothers have been known to sing folk ballads both in lyric and in musicianship.
Various concert reviews have described the typical Avett Brothers show as a two-hour-long rollercoaster of songs both loud and soft to keep the crowd on their toes singing and dancing. The two brothers, Seth and Scott Avett, lead the band of Bob Crawford, Joe Kwon and Jacob Edwards, and they create a wall of sound with heavy-laden rhythms and a chorus of voices.
Most reviews and critics of the band consider the Avett Brothers to sound like a mix between a folky Beatles with the heart of the Ramones, or the integrity of a classic Bob Dylan song with the sound of bluegrass ragtime. The Avett Brothers have the subtle skill to maneuver through both loud, soulful tunes and quiet ballads of love and loss.
On the other hand, Trampled By Turtles is able to sew together talented musicianship with a traditional folk and bluegrass texture.
“I can’t wait to see ‘Laundry Room,’ my favorite Avett Brothers song, when they come here,” Thomas said. “I’m also excited to hear ‘Live and Die,’ a new one off ‘The Carpenter.’ It’s a good starter for new fans.”
At the end of the day, both groups put on fantastic shows. Just look at any YouTube video and take note of how enthusiastic and energetic the crowds are. Fayetteville is in for a raucous and entertaining two days this Fall Break.