The Revivalists | The Parish | Austin, TX | 1/31/2014 | Review
In the big scheme of things, The Revivalists are still a relatively new band. They’ve been together 7 years, which in dog years is only 1, but I’ll be damned if they don’t have as many die-hard, cult-status fans as The Rolling Stones. The venue was packed even before the opener, and the minute These Mad Dogs of Glory had cleared the stage after their spectacular performance, the air was buzzing with feverish anticipation.
I, a virgin to seeing The Revivalists live, was in the minority. All around me people were trading stories about how far they drove to see the band, how many towns they’ve followed them to. Surprisingly, it didn’t sound like the overwhelming majority of people had that drawling, southern twang to their accent, which means that while these guys are still adored by their hometown, the music will make road-tripping followers of us all—regardless of your address. Luckily, I had a chance to sit down with them before the show, so I had already formed a crush on the six of them. Before I met them, I had a crush on their music, their unique sound and soulful, mind-bending lyrics are impossible to deny, but, as Rob put it in the interview: “we get more explorational during live shows.” I can testify to that.
Have you ever heard the saying in Austin: “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes?” That sentiment was forefront during the performance. You’re not a huge fan of funk? The next song will be soul. Rock is too harsh for you? Then you’ll love this track that’s reminiscent of R&B.
And here’s the killer part—they nail every genre. When I spoke to them, they were very clear about it being a point of pride for the band that they don’t fit a specific genre. What they failed to mention is that many bands don’t ‘fit a specific genre’, but they alone sound like professionals in every single one.
Although it’s hard to make out David’s voice over the crowd belting out every single verse, it’s made easier due to the fact that he rarely stays on the stage. For the better part of the show, he’s standing on benches, amps, speakers, or on the floor in the middle of it all, inciting dance riots. Girls are swooning, guys are swooning, everyone is fallen victim, no one is safe. If funktastic bass lines, kickass saxophone solos, and rock n’ roll vibes are your thing, this is a can’t-miss show.
The energy is inexplicable, it’s something you just have to witness. They were right, there is something (dare I say it?) voodoo about their live perfomance. New Orleans has rubbed off on them for sure. Like Andrew said: “it’s all about just having a good time, at the end of the day. I mean, the songs are serious and are about things we’ve gone through, and the songs individually have messages, but in terms of when we take the stage, live, more than anything else I want people to just leave and be like ‘That was a good time.’” So while there’s certainly nothing wrong with their studio album, my advice is to buy yourself a little Mardi Gras present this year: City of Sound with the added live tracks. It’s magic.