The Revivalists are having a pretty exceptional year. Fans are loving the new record Take Good Care. The band has garnered attention from media outlets, TV appearances, earned numerous accolades and the chance to play the kind of venues most young bands only dream about.
But nothing compared to the moment the band learned it would be supporting the Rolling Stones on the Jacksonville date of the No Filter Tour at TIAA Bank Field, July 19. Drummers Andrew Campanelli and PJ Howard were together when they received word the band was chosen to support the Rolling Stones.
“it was pretty surreal. We got a call from our manager telling us that we’ve been offered the show in Jacksonville. I was kind of stunned. You can’t even wrap your head around it at first,” says Campanelli.
“I don’t know who did the actual selecting but we’d heard from our manager that we were sort of up amongst other bands. Originally, we were thinking it was for the New Orleans show. We were hopeful but we thought there’s a good chance one of these other guys would get the show. To come back and get offered another show was really quite an honor because it means that whoever was doing the selecting was really wanted us to be on even if it didn’t make sense for us to be on the hometown show.”
There wasn’t time to celebrate or even react. Ten minutes later, the band loaded up in the van for a gig that night in Jackson, MS. That night, the Revivalists delivered one hell of a show.
“It sure was. We have a song called Soul Fire and we ended up playing a 20-minute version of that song because we were just having fun.”
Whether it was the decision of Stones’ management or the band itself, the milestone event further solidifies the band’s steady climb from its hometown of New Orleans to the present. “In the first two weeks of January, we got to play two nights at the Beacon [Theatre]. We got to play The Anthem in DC. In February, we went to Europe for the first time and just last month, did a run with Willie Nelson and Phil Lesh so it’s really cool to get to play our own shows at a venue we’ve been hoping to play our whole life like the Beacon. To turn around and get to play with such legendary acts as Willie Nelson and Phil Lesh and get to watch them every night, and then on top of that to go open up for the Rolling Stones, it’s been a pretty banner year.”
The Revivalists found its rhythm a decade ago as an eclectic eight-piece with soul, brass and the spirit of the Big Easy. The sound has created a cross-over success with music that resonates with fans of Nelson, Lesh and now the Rolling Stones.
Fans of the Revivalists are along for the ride, many travelling abroad to attend the European dates. “We have such great fans. A lot of them have ben with use for five years and some have been with us for 10 years. It’s a really great community. They build each other up and meet up before shows and coordinate plans and travel all over the country. We saw a bunch of people we knew in Amsterdam. It’s really inspiring. Because it’s such a good community, they enjoy being with each other so it’s a great excuse for them to go meet up with their friends and happen to see a band that they like.
Once the band wraps the Stones who, the momentum continues with an appearance at Lollapalooza, LOCKN Festival, a second headlining show at Red Rocks and rolling into Fall with a September date at LA’s famed Greek Theatre. “We’re playing all these great venues that we’ve hoped to get to play someday and someday is now,” says Campanelli.
Looking out from behind the kit at a stadium crowd of thousands upon thousands of fans eager to hear what they have to say extends their reach in a way that is difficult to calculate.
“I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. In some ways, what we’re doing hasn’t changed that much. We still write the songs we want to write and we show up and play them together. The size of the crowd and the energy of the crowd obviously influences and changes the show but it’s an interesting thing to be inside of it. You put this time in to figure out how we fit together as a band and for people to respond is so humbling that people like what we decided to do,” Campanelli says.
Should he find himself face to face with the likes of Mick Jagger or Keith Richards, Campanneli will offer his sincere thanks, not only for the opportunity to share a stage but for the bands’ contribution and lasting legacy of the music.
“It’s really hard to wrap your head around something like that. We’ve played the main stage headlining Jazz Fest this year and we played before Bruno Mars last year and those crowds were large, maybe comparable to the 70,00 fans. But when it’s just two bands in a stadium versus a festival, we’ve never done anything like that,” he says.
“I just want to thank them for their music not just for inviting us to be on the show but for all the music and for being such a role model for bands. They’ve been around for so long and made it work interpersonally and musically for so many years that it’s really something to look up to. They’ve really been a force in music ever since they started. It’s just an honor. I feel grateful to be a small footnote in that story.”
Someday is now.