Written By | Jordan Williams
The 1500-person club inside Orlando’s House of Blues was packed with concert goers of all ages clamouring to see New Orleans based rock band The Revivalists. For this tour the ‘Nawlins eight-piece brought Rayland Baxter as their supporting guest.
The Nashville, Tennessee singer-songwriter Rayland Baxter sang some cuts from his third album Wide Awake. These songs were infused with the sounds of country, folk and rock and roll telling personal stories as he unashamedly shared with the audience, telling the story behind his song Sandra Monica. Other songs touch upon social issues like gun control found in the song 79 Shiny Revolvers.
After Rayland Baxter and his band finished their set the stage crew activated the smoke machines, some of the clubbers affixed light-up necklaces, and a slew of guitars were lined up on stage.
Everything got into place for The Revivalists who came out to a smattering of cheers. Ed Williams got settled behind his pedal steel guitar which was a unique and welcomed sight for me as I haven’t seen that instrument played in person at a concert. Frontman David Shaw belted out the opening line of When I’m With You and the crowd came unglued as they sang along.
Shaw made sure to keep the fans involved throughout the twelve song set, inviting them to join with him to sing the melodies and choruses to their hits such as All My Friends and You Said It All from their 2018 release Take Good Care. The set ended with Catching Fireflies from 2010’s Vital Signs album, but the band soon returned to the stage for not one but three more songs. Staying true to their band name, this encore included a rendition of the 1988 Fine Young Cannibals tune She Drives Me Crazy.
The Revivalists had left the stage one again, but the crowd hardly budged. They knew there was one more. Sure enough, keyboardist Michael Giradot walked back out and played the intro to the beautiful and long loved song Soulfight. A somber record, but laced with fantastic solos from Giradot—who swapped his keys for a trumpet—as well as Rob Ingraham on the saxophone and George Gekas playing the bass guitar.
Having been unfamiliar with The Revivalists until now, I would absolutely recommend their blues-rock music. Their live show is an open invitation to leave whatever may be bringing you down, move your body and celebrate.
Photo Credit: Jordan Williams