The Avett Brothers headlines the Harvest festival without jazz and blues

Harvest music director Brent Staeben’s hesitations stopped him from booking folk rock band the Avett Brothers last year at the jazz and blues festival.

“In the programming process last year I actually approached the Avett [Brother]s but I didn’t pull the trigger. Why? At that point I wasn’t sure that the buzz had built enough yet,” said Staeben.

Staeben was more than pleased to have the Brothers rock this year’s event, even though he questioned the decision last year.

A band lacking in jazz and blues could prove difficult headlining at Harvest, a festival predominantly known for booking world class music in that genre.

Staeben wasn’t convinced it was the right time for the festival to showcase such a diverse act but with the recent success in the release of their seventh studio album The Carpenter, Staeben approached them with the slot.

“I’m glad I waited a year because right now these guys are killing it everywhere they go with wild live shows and a massively growing following,” said Staeben.

The Avett Brothers kicked off their set with the band jumping around to their opening number ‘The Fall,’ then fell into the melodic ‘Head Full of Doubt’ and ‘Murder in the City.’

It was hard to predict how the crowd would react with a band headlining in the Blues tent that didn’t play the blues. It seemed inconsistent with the theme of the festival but it has been said that change is good. With the growing number of people packing into the tent, that became very apparent.

A fan standing in the crowd embraced the change. “I feel that there is such a large group of people who love the Avett Brothers and that have known them for some time. I do think there is a good mix.”

The whole performance took you from being overjoyed during ‘January Wedding’ to the point of tears during Seth Avett’s performance of ‘I and Love and You,’ which was the bands final encore for the evening.

The show ended while the sun was still going down. Music fans left the tent and rave reviews were heard in the night. It was clear that the Harvest festival could bring more to the table than just jazz and blues.