Started the night off at a local hot dog palace for a few wieners and $1 drafts of PBR before walking the swift 2 blocks to the historic Southern Theatre which is awe inspiring as soon as you make it into the interior. It was damn well maintained history and worth the price of admission alone.
Well now about the reason I even wanted to review this show was because it was a night of Elliot Smith cover songs, which in my opinion they didn’t play enough of. J.L.Mayfields rendition of “Between the bars” was goddamn beautiful and so sad it would have made any person listening numb. They started the set off with probably one of my all time favorite songs “Baby Britain” which I felt was completely out of place and kind of lost the feel of it with the rushing sweep of the momentum of it because it was the fastest of the night plus the crowd was not quite settled yet. I will say that Seth really went for “Angeles” and it was the only time that night I felt his solo performance was even necessary or warranted. I guess in a nut shell I was not very impressed by their so called night of Elliot Smith songs it was more of just a way to make rent for these musicians.
It’s only 5 songs into the set and of course Seth Avett already had a solo round of his own songs. Which by the way sounded incomplete without the backing of his brother Scott or maybe it’s because I’m more of a fan of their earlier alt-country screaming punk sound. Needless to say during Seths unneeded ego stroke J.L.Mayfield went and starts a pot of tea on what I thought was fake kitchen theater set piece but nope she had a real kettle and brewed a batch for the three of them on stage unbeknownst to Mr.Avett who just played a few decent songs. Seth Avett did play one original that I quite liked “Rain on my tin roof” which sounded like his take on a classic feel rather than the alt-country sound he is known for.
Furthermore I can’t get enough of J. L. Mayfields voice and it sure does not look like it could be coming from her body but in a good way. I found more than anything else about this concert that was I’m fond of J.L.Mayfields song structure and voice which might be because I have a thing for Ohio born singer songwriters or it was because she reminds me a lot of someone I would know. Her song “For Today” which she apparently wrote when she was 16 is fucking phenomenal and far more mature than the songs I was writing then and even now. We are actually really close in age I wonder if we ever both drank underage a Bernies Distillery back in the day….probably not but who knows.
Best songs of the night:
Baby Britain (Elliot Smith)
Between the Bars (Elliot Smith)
A Fond Farewell (Elliot Smith)
For Today (J.L.Mayfield)
Standing in the Sun (J.L.Mayfield)
Our Hearts are Wrong (J.L.Mayfield)
Worst songs of the Night:
Seth Avett Originals except
Rain on my Tin Roof
Seth Avett covering Neil Diamond,
Bob Dylan and the Beatles
Miss Misery (Elliot Smith)
Should have covered “Waltz #2” and “2:45 AM”, also listen to Elliot Smiths album either/or its way better at home than anything covered live by talented musicians.