Their fans are called Revheads, and they take front-row stakeouts seriously. This devotion to The Revivalists is well-warranted, as we found out at Central Park Summerstage earlier this week.
A show with the New Orleans-based seven-piece is a sensory smorgasbord, something akin to Alabama Shakes meets Galactic meets parkour. If you didn’t have your daily dose of caffeine, you’re going to have a hard time keeping up with frontman David Shaw as he dances across the stage, perches on the monitors, and leaps onto the barricade, leaning out into a crowd that clamors for more. And that’s not even mentioning the superlative Ed Williams who, at the apex of particularly vibrant songs, turns the pedal steel into a kinetic showpiece; and Rob Ingraham, a fiery presence at stage right with saxophone. Sitting or standing still behind an instrument is not in this band’s vocabulary. The Revivalists are rounded out by Zach Feinberg (guitar), George Gekas (bass), Andrew Campanelli (drums), and Michael Girardot (keys, trumpet) – each adding their own color to these songs.
The Revivalists’ set spanned their ten-year career, their songs as conversant with soul and blues traditions as with jam-band grooves and a healthy dose of rock bombast. For the uninitiated, you’ve heard this band, even if you don’t realize it – their breakout single, “Wish I Knew You,” reached number one on Billboard’s alternative songs chart this spring. And that track is a good place to start, the sweet and wistful narration of the what-ifs of love, brightened by horns. But as any true fan will tell you, The Revs’ live bonus tracks off City of Sound (2014), is not to be missed.
Austin’s White Denim started off the summer evening. Eric Krasno sat in with the band and joined The Revivalists for the encore – a special surprise for the New York audience.
Follow The Revivalists (Facebook, Instagram) and White Denim (Facebook, Instagram). Tour dates are here and here.
*Note: Thanks to Evan Brown for the setlist photo.
Article: Vivian Wang