Concert Review

The Revival returns to Raleigh

This past Thursday, two amazing bands teamed up for a night of sheer entertainment in downtown Raleigh.

Sol Driven Train, a band from South Carolina opened up the evening on a rather unexpected tone – it appeared to be ska.  Yes, there was a trombone and a baritone sax, and both had very talented musicians attached to them!  I had wondered where ska had disappeared to in the past decade or so and was pleased to hear something familiar, but then the next song came and then the next…  It was ska, then blues, then Johny Carter-esque country, then something with a Latin feel, and the set finished with a near-ten-minute percussion finale in which every member of the band took to a drum for an all out battle of the beats.  I was utterly blown away.   How could the night have possibly gotten any better?

I have four words for you –  Holy Ghost Tent Revival.  Imagine if you can for a moment ragtime, bluegrass, and indie rock having a private party in a French Quarter hotel while your grandma’s gospel choir watched in horror through the keyhole.  The music makes you want to dance and sing, hands over your head, heels kicked up, shoes off without caring who sees.  Actually, if you were there, you might’ve seen me, but that’s beside the point – It seemed as if the walls actually pulsed with the banging rhythms of the banjo and the wailing combination of the horns and the harmonized vocals made the glass in the windows tremble.  New songs were on hand, and it’s clear that not only is the Greensboro-based group gaining melodic momentum, their writing is more interesting and creative than ever.

I was already a fan of Holy Ghost Tent Revival, and I think I become an even bigger fan each time I see them.  They’re certainly an act not to be missed, and I was fortunate enough this time to catch them with an opening act who certainly held their own.