“We create a room [that] makes people feel like they’re in New Orleans… We make a Tuesday night in your town feel like a Saturday night in New Orleans” -Campanelli
The Revivalists are a clear example of a New Orleans born band that have been highly influenced by the music and culture. Formed in 2007, The Revivalists have created a name for themselves in the music industry. Since their start in 2007, the band, consisting of 7 members, finally got their ‘big break’ in 2015. Specifically, their single titled “Wish I Knew You” was the muscle behind their fast pace rise to #1 Alternative radio in 2017, as well as breaking the Billboard chart for most-single week spins ever in Alternative Radio. The Revivalists have sold out headlining tours across 2015, 2016, and 2017—they are truly a great New Orleans story.
The band, as previously mentioned, is made up of 7 artists. David Shaw, Zack Feinberg, Andrew Campanelli, George Gekas, Ed Williams, Rob Ingraham, and Michael Girardot. Their music has an electric rock sound with a mix of spunky Southern vibes, admittedly taken from their New Orleans roots, that attract a wide range of listeners to their music. All of their work is based on the free-spirit, gritty vibes that New Orleans emits to all of its inhabitants and visitors. There is truly nothing like a day in NOLA, especially a Saturday night on Frenchman listening to your favorite band, The Revivalists.
Their story is unlike any other and is one that is truly inspiring to me. One evening in 2007, Feinberg, guitarist, was going for a bike ride around the streets of uptown New Orleans. He came across Shaw, now lead vocalist and guitarist of the band, sitting on his front porch jamming out to an original song of his. Having an inkling of interest, Feinberg struck up a conversation with Shaw and the two hit it off immediately. Shaw had moved to New Orleans two weeks prior to this day in 2007 to help the city rebuild after Hurricane Katrina hit, as well as for the cities musical greatness. He knew that he was destined to be a musician and there was no greater city in the world, to him, than charming New Orleans. Feinberg on the other hand, had moved to NOLA to study Psychology at Tulane University. Having only been moved into his dorm for no longer than an hour, Feinberg was forced to evacuate the premises due to the impeding storm. Though instead of fleeing, Feinberg stayed exactly where he was. Just as Feinberg had felt, Shaw knew that this city, and its rich musical history, was exactly what he needed to make his lyrics inspiring.
Within weeks of their initial meeting, the two had constructed an untouchable group. The band was comprised of fellow artists found at various music rooms around the city, such as Tipitina’s, or fellow Tulane and Loyola students who had stayed put to weather out the storm. As they began to perform sets at several clubs around the city, they realized they had something special—something powerful.
They called themselves The Revivalists. To them, this name felt exactly like what New Orleans was experiencing during those two years’ they spent performing post Katrina. New Orleans had been broken down and it was up to those that loved this city to rebuild it. The group felt as though, “New Orleans was finally starting to rebound, and seeing it get back on its feet at the same time that this band, which respects older styles of music, was getting together, it just felt right as a name, … “It’s about the excitement of this great American city, this great musical city, coming back to life.” (Feinberg) The Revivalists watched as New Orleans revived itself after a horrible disaster, they were inspired by the efforts by all that live here, and to them, this story is what they embody most.
Without New Orleans and its lively music scene, as well as history, this incredible band would have never come forth into the music community. At the base of their morals, The Revivalists have a profound respect and admiration for New Orleans and are so grateful for all this city has allowed them to accomplish. There is no city in the world that has a more musical soul so thoroughly present than New Orleans, LA. The Revivalists will be in NOLA performing at The Orpheum Theatre December 29-31, and I would recommend getting your tickets as soon as possible. It is a once in a life time chance to see a band with a great amount of New Orleans history at the base of all of their music.
COVER PHOTO: The Revivalists