A beautiful fall evening in Philly is the backdrop for a hot show at Union Transfer. While not advertised as a double-bill, that was what we got: The Weeks and The Revivalists touring together. Both bands are worth your attention.
I was not familiar with the Weeks until last night. Try as I might to keep up with the music scene, there is just an amazing amount of music at the moment, and many bands slip past me unnoticed. Such is the case with the Weeks. This band out of Mississippi brings it with a combination of alternative and southern rock. Led by twins Cain and Cyle Barnes, and amply supported by two guitarists (Samuel Williams and Johny Fisher), Damien Bone on bass, and Tyler Craft on keys, they have a solid live show that had me fired up.
Are they silly? Sure, one of the guitarists was sporting a Daniel Boone coonskin cap. And Cain climbed the speakers (see below) at the end for a big-time jump. But mostly, they are a tight band that rocks. Cyle Barnes on lead vocals is really good, but with some odd mannerisms. He sings looking up at the ceiling a fair amount, and has a resemblance to Tiny Tim of Tiptoe Through the Tulips fame. But his brother, Cain, on bass is a presence, and together, they are compelling. Given the six piece lineup, they had a wall of sound that was rockin’ and in your face.
The Weeks played for an hour, unusual for an opening act, and I was never bored nor thinking “I wish these guys would get off the stage.” Instead, I was taking some photos and making a mental note to follow up on these guys when I get home. Here are the pics, and also a youtube video of one of their singles. Check ‘em out, it will be worth your time.
It takes a confident band to tour with an opener like The Weeks. And the Revivalists are just that, playing with swagger that suits their outsized live show. This is a band that pretty much everyone would enjoy – they rock out, they play soulful ballads, and they bring the party. Who could ask for anything more?
The Revivalists were formed in New Orleans, and carry influences of that city’s musical sounds with them. They play a rollicking mix of soul, rock, funk and the blues, all cobbled together with some great jamming. Rolling Stone called them one of the “10 bands You Need to Know” in 2016, and for good reason. David Shaw is the lead vocalist and sometime guitarist who is a solid frontman. He’s very active on stage, moving about, engaging the crowd, and leading handclaps, holding hands in the air, etc.
Shaw is supported by Zack Feinberg (guitar), Rob Ingraham (saxophone), George Gekas (bass), Andrew Campanelli (drums), Ed Williams (pedal steel guitar) and Michael Girardot (keys/trumpet). The pedal steel is a nice southern touch, and was highlighted extensively throughout the show. Williams is damn good on that thing! The horn section, however, was just ok – they could beef this up to the betterment of the group as a whole. And when Ingraham’s mike on the sax gave out during the encore, the song lost what should have been a highlight but instead became a “I can’t hear it” moment. It was one negative during an otherwise excellent show.
These guys rock, jam and cavort about the stage much to the delight of the crowd. They opened it up hot and heavy, rocking through a number of great cuts like Keep Going and All in the Family. With the crowd heavily into it, they took things down a notch and played some soulful tracks that were well received.
They can down it down too much at times. One of the pictures below shows Shaw (well, sort of shows him) sitting on the floor at Union Transfer while Feinberg, Girardot, and Ingraham sit on the stage. Some of the crowd sat with them. These four guys played a slow song using mostly acoustic guitar. It was cool in a way, but the song was sort of boring, and I noticed a fair amount of the crowd chatting among themselves, going to get drinks, and otherwise carrying on. It became background music. But that was short-lived, and the boys were back with a lot more energy soon enough.
The crowd was clearly digging the whole thing. UT was sold out, it was hot, and people were ready to party. And the Revivalists are a southern party band, well named for the music they bring. It is always great to see how much receptivity there is to southern sounds during my northern exile. This is good rockin’, suh!
The band finished strong, then took the mandatory encore. They came back and tore through three more tracks, finishing with Wish I Knew You. Here’s the youtube version of that song, and it’s a keeper:
And here are some pictures from the show itself:
I’ll be back soon. In the meantime, you keep on looking good and having fun. And tell your friends about BRP – I’m not selling anything, just trying to keep you entertained. Au revoir!
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.