Sound: This date of The Revival Tour was the opening date; the 27th September 2011 in Bristol's 02 Academy. For those of you that don't know what The Revival Tour is, it is basically the brain child of ex-Hot Water Music singer Chuck Ragan. It usually features a few artists, and there they play a set each of songs from both their solo and band careers, with a few covers thrown in.
On this tour the featuring musicians are Brian Fallon (The Gaslight Anthem/Horrible Crowes), Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio/The Emergency Room), Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music/Chuck Ragan) and last but not least Dave Hause (The Loved Ones). Each and every one of them played fantastically and to the best of their ability, donning the stage in violins, upright basses, harmonicas and acoustic guitars.
Dave Hause, the First Act was a very friendly man when spoken too, though when he sings the ferocity comes out, and despite him playing solo, his voice is enough to fill the stage and then some. Playing collaborative songs with Chuck Ragan such as the newly covered "Worry" by Northcote, and solo songs such as "C'mon Kid", after introducing it about his friend who had managed to get off drugs, and he wanted to "write a happy song before he got back on them again."
Followed by Chuck Ragan whose voice is hearty enough to have a full band with him, instead he brought with him Jon Gaunt his violinist and an upright bass. Chuck Ragan was easily one of the best acts of the night, providing jolly music with undertones of socio-political injustices. His performance was one of the best because it had the most people dancing, the dual-wielding harmonicas and violins gave a very Americana feel to the Academy.
Next was Dan Andriano, who cam on very quiet and humble playing on the far left of the stage, talking quietly about his songs "Fine" and "Blue Carolina" as well as the more personal songs from the Emergency Room, his side project from Alkaline Trio. Nonetheless, he was still lively enough when playing, although differing from Chuck Ragan it seemed as though he was hurting a lot more because of his songs and sung them with incredible passion, all of which was assisted by the excellent sound in the O2 Academy.
Lastly was Brian Fallon, the overnight superstar of the Gaslight Anthem and the Horrible Crowes, and one who played songs from both. Brian's approach was far more basic and uni-layered compared to Chuck Ragan, donning a trucker's cap and playing solemnly with Ian Perkins, and the when the Gaslight section of the concert began the crowd roared, especially at songs such as "Great Expectations" and "59' Sound" mobilizing the crowd all into dance.
Overall each artist played magnificently and held their own reputations in fantastic performances of their songs and in some cases each others. The instruments such as the upright bass, harmonica and violin adding to the layers of the acoustic guitar. // 8
Perfomance: This concert was very enjoyable, partly due to the stripped down nature of the performance. The stage was almost bare; no light shows, no pyrotechnics, just four talented musicians playing together like true friends, there was no artist that went ten minutes without a surprise guest appearance from one of the other acts, Chuck Ragan running onto join Dave Hause or Brian Fallon for example. It was not only this, they also took it in turns playing each others songs, the concert opening with Dan Andriano singing Brian Fallon's "Great Expectations" and Brian Fallon going into Alkaline Trio's "Warbrain" in the bridge of his song. Each of the artists took a little introductory speech, though each being funny was on the whole heartfelt, adding to the friendship and emotional atmosphere in the venue. Chuck Ragan sang for families and everyone who had children and professed after the show that "Anyone who gets to go to sleep at night with his loved one, is a very lucky man." He played heartfelt songs such as; California Burritos and Rotterdam. Dan Andriano played songs from the Emergency Room such as "It's Going To Rain All Day" and "This Light". Dave Hause played some The Loved One's music and his song "C'Mon Kid", for his drug addicted friend. Finally Brian Fallon was a unique dual-concert, one half being for the Horrible Crowes and the other being for Gaslight Songs. The Horrible Crowes songs were as mesmerizing in acoustic form as they had always been on the record, songs such as "Crush" and "Ladykiller" and "Behold The Hurricane". Each of which was as gripping as the last. The Gaslight Songs were heart-rendering, finishing with "She Loves You" and "Blue Jeans And White T-Shirts" which Brian delicately sung to close his slot, to which the rest of the acts returned to the stage and sung their way into the lights up. // 9
Overall Impression: This date of The Revival Tour was the opening date; the 27th September 2011 in Bristol's 02 Academy. For those of you that don't know what The Revival Tour is, it is basically the brain child of ex-Hot Water Music singer Chuck Ragan. It usually features a few artists, and there they play a set each of songs from both their solo and band careers, with a few covers thrown in. The ticket was a mere 15, which is definitely a small price for the artists involved and for the type of experience which you were receiving. The show's best part was the collaborations and the rapport between the artists, it wasn't tense, the whole place was really relaxed and friendly and you could tell that all that artists were getting along like a group of friends. The worst part is that there is simply not enough time to hear all of your favourites from these world-class artists. I would definitely go to any show that was available, not just from the individuals and their bands, but by The Revival Tour, as no matter who is on the bill, the atmosphere is fantastic. Worth every penny of a ticket, especially as every single one of the artists came around the back at the end of the gig, and literally spoke to everyone that stood at the fence and signed everything and talked to people for lengthy periods of time like they were old friends. An opportunity which fans of any of the artists should be kicking themselves for. // 9