Avett Brothers’ folk-rock fills the big stage


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Review and gallery by Laurie Scavo

The winsome, electric folk-rock of the Avett Brothers is generally not the stuff of Jumbotrons. But there it was Friday night, gleaming from the big, crystal clear HD screens that flank the stage at the glitzy Nokia Theatre in downtown L.A.

If anything, the images of the banjo-toting North Carolinans only served to intensify the emotional resonance of their show, which peaked with the song “November Blue.” That paean to longing, off the Avetts’ 2002 album “Country Was,” seems to take on a different personality every time the quartet plays it; on Friday it was more bouncy than tear-jerking, fitting beautifully into a set that included “Salina,” “I and Love and You,” “Kick Drum Heart” and “January Wedding.”

The foursome – Scott and Seth Avett, Bob Crawford and Joe Kwon – on Tuesday released a new CD/DVD, “Live, Volume 3,” but as Friday night showed, there’s not quite a substitute for being there, even if some of the action is on the big screen.

Opener Brandi Carlile charmed the crowd with a set of music focusing on her 2009 album “Give Up the Ghost,” but Grace Potter & the Nocturnals were less believable, the 27-year-old frontwoman having edged away from her roots-rock beginnings and moved into pop-star territory.