Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Revivalists Decree Brooklyn Bowl Show Year's Best

When I saw Galactic enrapture Terminal 5 earlier this year, they were accompanied on vocals by a man named David Shaw. I was flabbergasted at how such a booming, soulful voice could come from this super-lanky whiteboy. So when I found out that Shaw's band, the Revivalists, were headlining Brooklyn Bowl, I knew I had to go.

Halfway through the opening number "Catching Fireflies," I learned that the rest of the Revivalists were on par with the spectacle of Shaw. The stage was flanked by two of the New Orleans band's liveliest members, Ed Williams on pedal steel and Rob Ingraham on saxophone. Williams often leaned so hard into his instrument that it teetered dangerously on two legs, while Ingraham whirled his woodwind around to amp up the other half of the room. Although their sound would be classified as rock, it was definitely imbued with that NOLA party attitude. Most songs were rife with call-and-response sections and just dancey enough to have everyone grooving on a Friday night. Welcoming us into "Chase's House," David removed his button-down shirt to reveal a white V-neck. "This is probably the funnest show we've played in a long time. My cheeks hurt from smiling. Straight up," he admitted.

The show may have been opened by 14-year-old guitar prodigy, Bobby Paltauf, but the Revivalists introduced to the stage an even younger axeplayer, 10-year-old Brandon Niederauer. Although it would be trite to say that they whipped the crowd into a frenzy as they tore into "Whipping Post," it would also be entirely accurate. Young Niederauer closed his eyes like an old bluesman, his fingers moving nimbly along the fretboard as he traded licks with Williams and Zack Feinberg. "How do you follow that?" asked a stunned Shaw, taking a rare break between songs. They rightfully chose to pull back a bit with "Soulfight." Just six songs after his initial review, Shaw clarified, "So I've gotta say this. It's definitely the funnest show we've played in a long time." Having played for almost two hours, the band closed out the set with fan favorites "Appreciate Me II" and "Criminal."

They couldn't stay away for long, however. "Best show all year for sure. Definitely best crowd," confirmed David. The Revivalists launched into the rap/rock "All in the Family" to snag one last batch of participation from the audience. As the tune neared its end, Shaw shouted, "Are you ready for this, Brooklyn?" I don't think any of us were. David peeled off his t-shirt, and they stampeded into "Bulls on Parade." Let me tell you, you've never heard the song like this. With powerful blasts of bari sax and Tom Morello's solo played on lap steel, it consummated an already terrific night of music. It may even end up on my best performances of the year list, right beside "Does It Really Make a Difference," which Shaw sang at Terminal 5.

THE REVIVALISTS - 11.22.13 - BROOKLYN BOWL (2 hours, 10 minutes)

Catching Fireflies / Stand Up / Concrete (Fish Out of Water) / When I'm Able / Chase's House > Sunny Days / Bullet Proof Vest / Not Turn Away > Common Cents / Navigate Below > Upright / Keep Goin' / Whipping Post (feat. Brandon Niederauer) / Soulfight / Soul's Too Loud / Two Ton Wrecking Ball / Appreciate Me II / Criminal

All in the Family > Bulls on Parade

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