Going to the Revival Tour a couple of weeks ago was the best last-minute concert decision I’ve ever made. I knew about the tour and wanted to go, but I didn’t have the money. I forgot about it until a few days before when the special guests for the Philly date started to be announced. A few days before the show, Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem announced that he would be doing a guest spot exclusively at the Philly date. I was sold. I bought tickets immediately and was blown away by the night.
When I write in detail about concerts, it’s because I really found them to be special (corny, but true) experiences. Not every show is. This however, was one of the most moving shows I’ve ever been too. Started by Hot Water Music‘s Chuck Ragan in 2008, the Revival Tour takes punk musicians and puts them together for a tour of collaborative acoustic performances. Many of the artists involved have roots in folk music; Ragan himself has released a few solo folk records. What you get at the Revival Tour is a bunch of friends making music together. There’s far more love and integrity and camaraderie between musicians and fans alike than most shows. It’s a very intimate setting. At this particular show headliners: Chuck Ragan, Tommy Gabel of Against Me!, Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio, and Corey Branan were joined by several special guests: Brian Fallon, Dave Hause of the Loved Ones, and Tim Barry (formerly of Avail). To allow time for all the special performances, the headliners played shorten sets. This didn’t bother me at all. The show started and ended with everyone on stage playing together songs from each headliner. In between, the musicians took turns playing their songs solo while the others came and went, adding vocals here or a part there. Jon Gaunt and Joe Ginsberg joined the tour to play violin and double bass, respectively.
It was an amazing night of music from start to finish. There was a certain kind of respect and fellowship in crowd that’s rare.
Here’s a video I took of Tom Gabel playing the Against Me! song “Tonight We Give it 35%”