“Huntington, West Virginia, be still in my heart.”

Avett Brothers play Big Sandy Arena

The Avett Brothers perform Thursday at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

The Avett Brothers took the stage Thursday at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

The first few songs played were the band’s better-known hits such as “Live and Die.” The band played a song they are working on for a new record entitled, “I Wish I Was.”

“Huntington, West Virginia, be still in my heart,” Seth Avett said during the concert.

John Sharp of Gallipolis, Ohio, said he traveled to numerous states to see the band perform their unique style of music, and this was his fifth concert.

“It’s hippie bluegrass, and I’m a hippie,” Sharp said. “The music relaxes me, makes me feel great. I’ve seen them in Morgantown, Toledo, Indianapolis, Nashville and now here. I’ve been looking forward to seeing them nearby for so long.”

The band consists of seven members on various string instruments, and the drums, organ and piano bring a high-energy performance to fans.

The music changed between fast paced songs, which brought onlookers to their feet, and slower ballads, which brought fans to turn their cell phone flashlights on.

Marshall University graduate Zach Staten said he has seen the band perform five times and traveled back to Huntington for the concert.

“I’m really into bluegrass,” Staten said. “I love seeing multiple instruments on stage. They use six to seven people every time I see them. No two shows are the same, and the way they perform is so engaging.”

This was the first time Evan Surratt, a Marshall health science major, saw the Avett Brothers live, and he said he enjoyed the band’s high energy.

“I thought they were great stage performers,” Surratt said. “They interacted with the crowd really well. They came out without an opening band and played the entire two and half hours.”

Surratt said the highlight of the evening was the grand finale.

“They played lying on the floor and the crowd went crazy,” Surratt said. “Even though we had general admission, we were right by the stage. It was worth it.”

Sofie Wachtmeister can be contacted at [email protected]