|Sadness and happiness arrive hand in hand.|
Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield
Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Life is a careful balance between joy and melancholy, and we are always one tremble from slipping into the abyss. This is the lesson Elliott Smith taught through his music.
Despite this, Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield were in good spirits as they took the stage of the Fitzgerald Sunday night. The two were in town as part of their 13-stop tour promoting Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith. Dressed in drab -- Mayfield sporting a drooping funeral gown and Avett looking like a bullied academic -- they smiled and saluted the crowd, an apt metaphor for the night ahead.
Along with them to pay tribute to the late master of misery was standup bassist Paul Defiglia, resident keyboardist for the Avett Brothers, whose plucky, deep tones added a foreboding, straight-from-the-washtub tone to the Avett-ized Smith covers. Though Mayfield's airy, downtrodden Jenny Lewis impression was a fitting anagram of Smith's own, Avett's voice is far too mellifluous to be an exact homage. In essence, this was the point of the evening -- not to recreate Smith's heartbreaking body of work, but to interpret it in a way that helps you better digest the pain.More »