Wrong. Throw your expectations out the window. The Avetts draw from acoustic music traditions, to be sure, but they are entirely uninterested in trying to re-create anything that's gone before. So in the middle of a lovely ballad set to a waltz tempo, Scott and Seth will abandon their ragged-but-delicate harmonies and suddenly start screaming at the top of their lungs. The guitar and banjo are more likely to be strummed furiously than picked with care. And, with very few exceptions, the Avett Brothers play and sing their own original material.
These originals are the strength of the band. Drawing from folk melodies and pop sensibilities, the Avetts write delightfully offbeat and emotionally resonant songs. Some of them will break your heart -- "Smoke in Our Lights" is a string of clever metaphors that add up to a sad tale of lost love -- and some will make you laugh out loud --"I Killed Sally's Lover" takes a sarcastic look at the aftereffects of folk-music revenge songs. Most will stick in your head after only a couple of listens.
Show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door; call 314-231-2489 for more information. The Avett Brothers also perform at Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue) on Friday, May 13. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door; call 314-773-3363 for more information.