Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Show Review - Jessica Lea Mayfield w/ The Avett Brothers - 6/6/2010 - Ches A Rena - Concert Review

Jessica Lea Mayfield must love Pittsburgh. Maybe it's our horrible winters. Maybe she just tours nonstop. Regardless, since opening up for the The Black Keys almost a year ago to the date at the Three Rivers Music Festival, the young 20 year old has played Schenley Park, Thunderbird Cafe, and last night the roller rink Ches A Rena opening up for the growing more popular by the second Avett Brothers all in less than a year.

Jessica's four piece band including crazy and hysterical brother multi-instrumentalist David Mayfield on the upright bass quickly gathered onto the roller rink end stage and went right to it. When Jessica, now blonde and with an American guitar strap, started strumming chords off her 2008 album With Blasphemy So Heartfelt the band started to revolve around her as if she was the center of the universe. After hearing the first bass drum kick and bass line, I assumed there was an audio problem until I realized it was the way the band intended the bass to be, deep, dark, and dreary. Staring directly into the crowd for most of evening she elegantly played through her catalog including "I'm Not Lonely Anymore", "Kiss Me Again", and "Bible Days", along with some new songs off her new upcoming album. Seldom Jessica showed any emotional gestures unless she was saying thanks to the crowd or watching her brother on his knees playing his bass, but if you've seen her show before you would have known this already.

Rounding out her unexpected 50 minute set was the appearance of Scott Avett and Jow Kwon for her song "For Today". Scott added to the chorus, while Joe played his cello next to David (who later on contributed to the Avett Brothers set by playing the drums for two songs) making sure the entire crowd was paying attention.

At the end of the song Jessica swiftly left the stage almost the same way as she had came on. One can guess the next time Jessica will play Pittsburgh, but I think it's safe to say she won't play the same venue twice.

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