The Revival Tour is famous for taking members of huge acts out on one tour to play their solo material in front of their fans. This year, when the tour came through Chicago, it featured Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio), Tim Mcllrath (Rise Against), Austin Lucas, Nathaniel Rateliff, Cory Branan, Jon Gaunt and Joe Ginsberg. You can check out our review of the tour after the break.
Since 2008 The Revival Tour has been gaining popularity from its performers well known from the bands they come from and the solo artists that give it their all to get their American folk, rock and as the most common word to describe it that I heard at the show “country” music heard. The Revival Tour, in my opinion, one of the best musical collaborations on the road today. Artists coming and going all tour long, the Chicago date was honored with Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio), Tim Mcllrath (Rise Against), Austin Lucas, Nathaniel Rateliff, Cory Branan, Jon Gaunt, and Joe Ginsberg. It seems there was two general types of fans at the Bottom Lounge: The kind that knew what The Revival Tour was all about and the kind who were there to see those well known names from their favorite bands. For the second kind, they were in for one heck of a surprise of a show!
The show started with most of the artists on stage kicking off the show with a great jam together before they exited the stage and let Cory Branan take the spot light. Going from a stage full of around ten guys to just him, his fast guitar playing and his loud voice took care of filling it back up. Most of his songs about places he has traveled or back in his home town, he always had a funny hook in the song to get the crowd cheering, singing or laughing with him. One of the crowd favorites was “The Prettiest Waitress In Memphis”, the whole song keeping the crowd tuned in as they followed the story line through out the tune even when Austin Lucas came out and sang one line to show the joking around friendship that’s common on this tour.
Cory is a great American Songwriter that knows how to keep a crazy guitar rhythm going and tell a great story that almost makes the listener wish it were their own story to tell.
Next came on Austin Lucas, who is very well know by all of Chuck Ragan’s fans and Austin’s own. Playing a very short set he gave it his all with his passionately played “Go West”, “Alone In Memphis”, and “Someone Like You”. Austin’s voice, lyrical writing abilities and talented guitar skills are undoubting going to keep him well off on the road for years to come. Through out his set other guys on the tour came and went helping out on his songs, again showing the family sense of this tour.
Then came Nathaniel Rateliff, with the least fancy looking acoustic that had character in the worn body underneath high strings from the years of playing almost demanded respect before his very unique voice claimed it. If I were only allowed to recommend one artist from this tour Nathaniel would be it. From his most well known song “Shroud” to the list full of others, no song disappointed. It always shows a sincerity of an artist when he doesn’t waste time between songs with small talk and he gives the crowd everything he has.
With a lot of fans there of Rise Against, the time they were waiting for came as Tim Mcllrath came on stage to play a rare acoustic set in his home city. Even with a little guitar cable trouble before his set the crowd and show setting didn’t falter. Tim’s set was not what I had expected. As the crowd was shouting requests, mostly Rise Against songs, Tim commented “I’m playing songs you’ve never heard so enjoy, you can go get those songs you are shouting on iTunes”. Which was a really cool thing to see a well-known singer do, and also, I believed, stayed true to The Revival Tour’s core. I’m sure you will be seeing a release from Tim in the near future, and tons of YouTube videos soon.
The long awaited Chuck Ragan took the stage next accompanied by Jon Gaunt and Joe Ginsberg. Playing only a handful of songs in the normal setting you would expect from Chuck. With a foot stomping, stand up bass thumping, folk rooted guitar, whining fiddle and shouting rough vocals they pleased the familiar crowd with mostly songs from Chucks newest album, but for those who knew what The Revival Tour had to offer there would be more from Chuck.
Being his last night on the tour and originally from Chicago, Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio, graced the crowd with his presence next. Playing mostly Alkaline Trio songs the crowd was singing along every word. You could tell he felt at home on stage in Chicago, but kept mentioning how he really didn’t want to end his leg of the tour. There was a sense in the venue that everyone was waiting for a certain song. Just as his set was ending Chuck Ragan came back on stage, picked up his guitar, and started playing the chord progressions of Alkaline Trio’s song “Bleeder” that Chuck is known for covering. What a rare opportunity for Chuck and a member of Alkaline Trio to play this song together. Then half way through the song Tim Mcllrath came back on stage to finish the song off with them.
Then the real Revival Tour community started as one by one, the past performers came on stage as they all shared instruments, picked up and put down others. Playing an on going flow of songs from “The Boat” by Chuck to other originals by all the other artists. Just as one artist was vocally ending a song another artist was starting another with the whole Revival Tour gang playing along. Multiple guitars, fiddles, a stand up bass, hand percussion, harmonicas, mandolins, and ranging vocals getting the whole crowd stomping their feet and clapping their hands. A stage full of different American Songwriters with different styles, all playing together and each other’s songs. That is what Revival Tour is about, a community of musicians living and traveling doing what they love and sharing it to all that make it out. I truly believe Chuck Ragan is on to a great thing with The Revival Tour, and yes it has been around for a few years, but is gaining a great amount of attention. I could even see The Revival Tour growing into a fest one day. If you have a chance I highly recommend getting to one of the remaining days or wait till this great show comes around again!
Information about the review…
Tour: The Revival Tour
Artists: Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio), Tim Mcllrath (Rise Against), Austin Lucas, Nathaniel Rateliff, Cory Branan, Jon Gaunt and Joe Ginsberg
Reviewer: Dustin Smith
Date: April 9, 2012
Venue: The Bottom Lounge in Chicago, IL