On Tuesday, Oct. 20, The Avett Brothers performed at Tennessee Tech University for the 2015 Fall S.O.L.O. concert. The Suffers, a Gulf Coast soul group, opened the show.
Beginning the show, The Suffers took to the stage with its vibrant, soulful music. Much of The Suffers’ performance consisted of music from its Kickstarter album campaign. The group performed some of its most popular songs, “Make Some Room” and “Stay,” for the audience.
The Suffers describe its sound as Gulf Coast soul. Kam Franklin, lead vocalist for The Suffers, said the group’s music is constantly evolving, which makes it something similar to a gumbo.
“It has strong bass as far as the musicians in there, but we come from so many different backgrounds, it’s kind of like you’re throwing in so many different ingredients into the mix,” said Franklin. “No matter what you put in it, it still works.”
Franklin and the rest of the band enjoy performing for college audiences for various reasons.
“My favorite part is the mystery that comes with us. We’re not very known to everyone, and I know a lot of people are just getting introduced to us,” said Franklin. “I like knocking down whatever idea they had of us before. It’s very easy to come in with assumptions, but when you play the universities and they don’t know who you are, it’s way more fun.”
After The Suffers’ performance, The Avett Brothers took the stage with an upbeat tone involving the crowd from the very beginning of its performance.
Mechanical engineering major Madison Dittner was emotional throughout the concert.
“I think The Avett Brothers are one of the few bands that sound better than on their album,” said Dittner. “They are incredible on their albums, so their performance blew me away. I’m a hug fan of them, and I was so overwhelmed with emotions because of their beautiful performance that I definitely cried a couple of times.”
Throughout the show, The Avett Brothers varied its tempo in song selection. The band played songs such as “January Wedding” and “Vanity” during its performance. As an encore, the group chose to sing “I And Love And You,” which is one of their most popular songs.
Katie Williams, director of Student Activities, said the artists really connected to the audience, and everyone seemed to enjoy the group’s performance.
For the concert, The Avett Brothers were paid a flat guarantee of $100,000, said Williams in an email correspondence. The S.O.L.O. fund paid for The Avett Brothers’ performance as well as The Suffers’ performance.
Beginning this fall, an age requirement was placed on attendance to the concert. No one below the age of 18 was allowed admittance to the concert according to the new S.O.L.O. policy.
Adams said a few people were denied admittance at the door of the Hooper Eblen Center because of this new rule.
“There were a few people we had to turn away at the door because they weren’t 18. But they were pretty understanding,” said Adams. “One little girl was with her mom, and I felt bad, but we had to enforce the rules. If you start making exceptions, then it gets complicated really fast.”
The SGA officers gave about 5,000 tickets away, and around 3,000 people attended the concert, said Adams.
In the spring of 2016, country will be the performing genre. Voting for the headlining artist will take place in the coming weeks, said Adams.
Every semester, SGA chooses a list of bands for the students to vote on as a collective body. Once the vote is complete, the decision will determine the performance.