Dave Matthews Band & The Avett Brothers
Walnut Creek Amphitheatre—At the beginning of the decade, Charlottesville, Va.'s Dave Matthews Band was one of the biggest acts in the world, playing sold-out, two-night stands at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre after releasing Everyday, its pop-heavy slick return to commercial success. Meanwhile, Scott and Seth Avett were two country brothers living outside of Charlotte and trying to turn their new rootsy project, The Avett Brothers, into something more than a side gig.
At last, the two meet: Attempting to recover from a five-year commercial and critical slump and the loss of founding member LeRoi Moore last year, Dave Matthews Band brings those two Avett boys—now a hard-touring quartet signed to a major label, with a Rick Rubin-produced record due out this fall—on the road. Of course, the local fans who saw the fledging act play Mexican restaurants in Greenville or wine bars in Charlotte are a tad flustered, misguided by the notion that such success hinges on selling out. But consider this: DMB started much like The Avett Brothers, playing tiny bars and parties for anyone who would listen. They toured more on willpower than money, found a smart team of boosters to handle business, worked hard at making better records, and ultimately found an audience that's been allegiant through lackluster albums, sewage spills and Matthews' millennial depression. Not a bad fate for any bunch of yokels. Oh, and a little side project of Matthews, ATO Records, has been responsible for records by Radiohead, My Morning Jacket and Vusi Mahlasela. Tim Reynolds and Béla Fleck saxophonist Jeff Coffin join DMB onstage tonight. The Avetts open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30.50-$60.50. Tim Reynolds' Wilmington-based band, TR3, plays an after-party at The Pour House for $15-$20, with the Jamie McLean band opening at 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin