Back in March, The Revivalists landed themselves on Rolling Stone‘s “10 Artists You Need To You” charts. Described as a “groove-oriented jam band that prizes tunes over solos,” the New Orleans natives have lived up to the hype in recent months. In September, their release “Wish I Knew You” peaked at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Adult Alternative; with each welcoming live show, The Revivalist’s reach and listener-base continues to grow.
Opening with the medium-paced “Keep Going,” the seven-piece jam band is one of a few musicians that can influence the older demographic to sing their lyrics word-for-word. From the time The Revivalists hopped onto stage, they entranced their older audience.
The Underground in Charlotte served as the perfect venue for the New Orleans. Fans is the front casually packed themselves against the barricade while other hung over the bar railing with an assortment of alcoholic beverages in hand. The setting fit and the mood only enhanced once The Revivalists broke into “Bulletproof,” another track of their recent release Men Amongst Mountains.
Photos by Caitlin Malson
Ponytailed Vocalist David Shaw shared multiple moments with his devoted fanbase. The singer dropped down to their level during “Fade Away” and embraced their love while more or less singing the song in unison with them. While Shaw’s vocals did the talking, the band’s unique tunes certainly set the mood. With emotional anthems in “Monster” and “Amber,” fans bowed their heads and sung each song to themselves instead of belting the lyrics back towards the stage. The overall vibe shifted, but audience’s enjoyment remained the same.
Shaw performed front and center for the majority of the show, however his fellow band members supplied just as much heart and vigor as the front man. That’s part of The Revivalist’s beauty – with seven pieces ranging from Zack Feinberg’s guitar to Michael Girardot’s trumpet, each member has a part to play for the machine to run accordingly. It’s easy to appreciate each and every piece of The Revivalists during their live show, when their faces aren’t hidden behind a recording.
The jam band hammered home quite a few songs from their 14-track album Men Amongst Mountains, but finished out their pre-encore set with “Criminal,” a song from their two-sided City of Sound record. The song’s lyrics fit as the band’s self-proclaimed final song of the night, as the audience and band did “meet again” after a short stint behind the backstage wall. The Revivalist’s returned for their craved encore with “Men Amongst Mountains,” “Soulfight” and the beloved “Wish I Knew You.”
It was exactly what the crowd desired and their body language revealed their regard for the renowned track. Not a single soul in attendance stood still or stayed quiet. The band and their fans bellowed the lyrics, “I wish I knew you when I was young, we could’ve got so high” and the overall tone that the final four minutes of the performance set carried off into the night. The Revivalists closed out their show in the perfect manner and left their Charlotte crowd with a feeling of pure bliss.