New Orleans-based 7-piece rock band, The Revivalists
, played a sold out show at The Play Station Theatre in Times Square this past weekend. This show concluded their Strangers in The Bright Lights
fall 2016 tour. Now, I have been to at least five Revivalists shows and not a single one had been this jam-packed. Normally, you'll spot clusters of "Rev-Heads," those fans who have been religiously following the band since their start in 2007. But Saturday night was different. It seemed that all of a sudden, everyone in this giant theatre was a Rev-Head, desperate to get close enough to just touch frontman, David Shaw.
The band was on stage by 9:30 pm, prompt as always. The roots rock band opened with "Keep Going," a song that grows into a soulful anthem that will make your heart explode.
I heard a lot of songs from their most recent album, Men Amongst Mountains
, such as "BulletProof," "Monster" and "Stand Up." During "Stand Up," Shaw climbed over the brigaded fence separating the audience from the stage. He was literally hugging and singing directly to fans while balancing on top of a fence. Talk about humble. I spotted a man that was grabbing onto Shaw's leg for dear life. I thought he would faint. And, yes, you read that right, a man.
"Fade Away" a slower, poetic song that expresses a very personal cry for intimacy and companionship, was performed with Shaw sitting right at the edge of the stage. It seemed that every single person in the audience knew the lyrics to this one. It was crazy to hear a crowd sing just as loud and coherent as the singer. Pedal Steel Guitarist, Ed Williams, and Guitarist, Zack Feinberg electrified the crowd with their harmonic solo that had everyone looking like they were hypnotized.
The Revivalists encored with "Soul Fight," one of the first songs Shaw ever wrote. Saxophone player, Rob Ingraham, played a solo that brought the crowd to tears. I'm not kidding. It's that beautiful. Michael Giradot, the keyboardist and trumpet player, came in with his trumpet solo right before Ingrahams'. Together, they made magic.
The last song they played was "Wish I Knew You," a soulful nostalgic jam song that earned the band its first No. 1 on Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs chart.
This band is almost too talented. Feinberg, a guitar-playing whiz, also co-writes a lot the band's most successful songs. Other than Shaw and Feinberg, there's Andrew Campanelli on drums, George Gekas on bass, Ed Williams on the pedal steel guitar, Rob Ingraham on the sax, and Michael Girardot on the keyboard and trumpet.
Shaw's vocals are unlike anything I've ever heard. He sounds even better than he does in his recorded albums. He projects with soul, honesty, and perfect pitch. I had spoken to him after the show and he told me he could've played another all over again. Now that's talent.
I had watched this band grow from having a humble fan base years ago, to playing one sold out show to the next. While the band's success is growing a million miles a minute, their mentality has stayed the same. They are a grateful bunch, which is evident by the way they act on stage. As I've already written above, this is not the first time I've seen The Revivalists, and it is definitely not the last.