Hello, friends! Rob here.
First, a bit of entirely pleasant business to attend to. We’ve been ironing out our next trip to Pensacola (late March! Woooo!) and I realized that two weeks ago, in my hurry to brag about selling out Vinyl in Pensacola, I neglected to mention that we didn’t do it alone. We were supported by a wonderful Pensacolan group called Timberhawk. They’re a working band, and they’re capable of performing long cover sets at the local beach haunts, but their original music is also downright fantastic and boy, wouldn’t it be great if they’d play with us again sometime…
Anyway, hi! How are you? Good to hear it. I’m doing great, thanks. It’s been a crazy little blur of days for The Revivalists. Green Bar in Tuscaloosa is always entertaining, and that probably goes double for Waffle House after a show. Late night Waffle House is the kind of place where weirdos tend to come crawling out of the woodwork, and usually I have to spend a few minutes looking around for them before I remember that I’m sitting at the head of their table.
Woke up in Brimingham on Friday (thanks to Leslie and Jodi for the floor space and clean towels!) and hopped over to Montgomery. Montgomery, Montgomery. What a magical place. We played at a club called Alley Bar, which was an interesting mix of elements. The venue space was a sort of repurposed parking garage/loading dock type of area with a good sound system, a limited bar and a nice big stage. It was a pretty big room, and we had a good time filling it with people, sound and friendship. But then, attached to this venue space, is the main bar area (barea?).
Alley Bar itself is a large, stylish bar with just enough of an upscale feel to not quite seem intimidating. BUT! There is even more! For within this bar is yet another bar. A sub-bar, if you will. The sub-bar is a small room completely enclosed by mostly glass where the temperature is kept at a near-freezing temperature (don’t worry, the bar keeps a few gaudy fur coats outside in case you don’t have one) so they can serve shots of various liquors and liqueurs in shot glasses made out of ice. MADE out of ICE. And then, when you’re done, you get to throw your ice shot glass on the floor like a peanut shell at a Texas Roadhouse, where it will hopefully shatter in a sufficiently awesome manner.
Three sets and one bottle of cinnamon whiskey later, we were all packed up. Before heading to our hotel, we decided to actually check out the nightlife for once. Unfortunately, it was about four in the morning at this point. Fortunately, that wasn’t a problem. A mere block away from Alley Bar there was an underground jazz club called Sous la Terre that had all the grit and character of any number of seedy New Orleans dives, with one distinct advantage: When I said “underground,” I didn’t mean “obscure,” or “subversive,” or “illicit” (although at least two of those words certainly apply). I mean it was literally under the ground, which, as any good geologist will tell you, doesn’t happen very often in New Orleans.
There were two musicians playing while we were there: a keyboardist who was probably in his fifties, and a trumpet player who could have been the other man’s grandfather. Now, in my opinion, “really old jazz musicians” rank just below “avalanche survivors” in terms of the measure of respect they deserve, so I’m not going to sit here typing words and words about how old this guy was, but he probably didn’t ride his bicycle to the gig. There was a mysterious blue concoction behind the bar that they served in shot form. It tasted blue. The band brought the house down with a rendition of “Lean on Me” and then we were tired and it was time to sleep.
Saturday probably couldn’t have gone much better. After an uneventful drive back from Montgomery (which is really all we can ask from a drive these days), we arrived at the Howlin’ Wolf, set up, sound checked, and dispersed to clean up for a big night at home. I admit I was a bit worried about having so many bands on the bill, but the entire thing went off, as far as I could tell, without a hitch. Unfortunately, I was too busy selfishly attending to my own hygienic and dietary needs to catch some of the earlier bands, but Gold and the Rush, Sun Hotel and Habitat all killed, and then it was our turn. All I am going to say about our show is thanks to everyone for showing up and thanks again for staying and keeping up the energy and one final thank you for catching Dave when he jumped off of that speaker.
Sunday and Monday were all about Liveset. We were a bit wary about doing a full-band acoustic performance through two microphones because of how loud and complicated our shows usually are, so Team Liveset was kind enough to indulge us with a little tech rehearsal/run through on Sunday.
With everything in place, we arrived at the French Quarter house on a beautiful Monday afternoon and just had fun. It feels weird saying this about a show where the audience was watching us from computers in different states, but it was a great way to interact with all of the friends who tuned in to watch. Despite the lack of a physical audience (apart from eight Liveset people and a few passers-by who watched through the open front door), there was a great sense of togetherness and the show took on an almost conversational tone. Thanks to Rachel, Ross, Ben the engineer (“Bengineer” for short), Ben the cameraman, Tyler, Sky (possibly Skye), Johanna and Hunter for making the event possible, and thanks to Liveset as a whole for providing such a wonderful platform for artists to connect with audiences. Hopefully they won’t mind a repeat performance sometime down the line.
Speaking of “down the line,” shows this weekend! Baton Rouge Friday! Lafayette Saturday! Done. Alright, I’m outta here. Keep it real. But also remember that it’s only 329 days til the end of the world, so you’ll need to keep it real with an appropriate sense of urgency.