New Orleans is a city steeped in music, sending jazz, funk and R&B bands out into the world like beads from a Mardi Gras float. Rock bands, however, are another story, and you can count on one hand the bands that have Crescent City roots. Red Rider, Cowboy Mouth and Down are a few that come to mind. You can add The Revivalists to this list.
Downriver of the French Quarter is a neighborhood alive with rock music. Known as the Faubourg Marigny, within its boundaries lie clubs like The Howling Wolf, Checkpoint Charlie and The Blue Nile. It was in this area, legend has it, that David Shaw was singing and playing his guitar on the front porch of his shotgun double when guitarist Zack Feinberg happened to ride by on his bike. Thus was born The Revivalists. The Revivalists tour stopped in Minneapolis on Wednesday night to a Sold Out Fine Line Music Café.
The openers were The Ghost of Paul Revere, an acoustic quartet from Maine. With their own style of alt-folk, these guys have toured with Greensky Bluegrass, the Infamouse String Dusters and Old Crow Medicine Show. Their set was full of energetic, foot stomping goodness, tossing in a banjo joke between songs. The highlight of the set was the closing tune, an acoustic cover of The Who’s Baba O’Riely that had the whole crowd singing along.
Set List: Wild Child / Little Bird / Ghost Land / As We Know / Funeral / Fits / Wolves / San Antonio / Baba O’Riely
The Revivalists hit the stage around 9:15 , With Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy playing as the band got into position, the RevHeads vociferously cheered in anticipation of the sonic hurricane about to hit. The band pulled heavily from 2015’s Monsters Among Men. Frontman Shaw had the crowd captivated and engaged right out of the gate with Monster, a passionate slow burner. This was followed by the rocker Stand Up, which had the sold out crowd bouncing around the dance floor as each member of the band gave all that they had. The dancing crowd congregation was led buy smoking hot Michael Girardot on keyboards, Rob Ingrahm on sax and Feinburg ripping the guitar. Shaw is the consummate front man. He had the crowd captivated with Catching Fireflies, a song about overcoming your demons and seeing light at the end of the tunnel. He jumped into the crowd and even paid a visit to a startled couple at a table on the balcony. The smoldering rhythm section of George Gekas on bass and Andrew Campanelli on drums kept the groove going as the throng sang every word of All In The Family. It was the encore, however, that propelled this show into the stratosphere. Starting with a powerful Wish I Knew You, we were rocketed into the fourth dimension when the band circled back to Prince. Shaw and the boys did the Purple King proud with soul scorching versions of When Doves Cry and Purple Rain. The Big Easy melds with the Minne-Apple, and as far as I could tell, the band left it all on the stage.
Set List: Monster / Stand Up / Fire Flies / You And I / Up In The Air / Move On / Fade Away / All In The Family / Gold To Glass / Keep Going / Need You / It Was A Sin / Criminal / Soulfight
Encore: Wish I Knew You / When Doves Cry / Purple Rain