Give the people a song and they’ll sing along. Give them a show and they will remember you forever. David Shaw knows how to give a show. Vinyl Music Hall served as the arena du jour as the Ohio-born frontman and his band, The Revivalists, shared their Coliseum-worthy exploits to kickstart 2012.
Opening the show were Timberhawk who are led by Aubrey Nichols (bass/vocals), Nathan Dillaha (guitar), Jordan Richards (guitar), and Matt Nichols (drums). Check out the Pensacola group’s video for “50,000 Days” which features the band recording at Raw Panda Studios.
Appearing in the inaugural Deluna Fest in 2010, as well as the following year’s affair, The Revivalists have found a devoted following of fans in the area. Including a Facebrook group which calls itself the Pensacola Fans of The Revivalists
A week before joining bandmates Zack Feinberg (guitar), George Gekas (bass), Ed Williams (pedal steel guitar), Rob Ingraham (saxophone) and Andrew Campanelli (drums) for the Pensacola concert, Shaw took time out from their tour to answer a few questions for an article in the January 13th edition of Pensacola News Journal’s “Music Matters” weekly column.
In the article, Shaw discusses the spirit behind his onstage daredevil nature, his music influences growing up, and advice for aspiring artists. The rest of the interview follows below…
*** David Shaw Interview ***
MS: How would you describe The Revivalist experience for someone seeing your show for the first time?
Shaw: It is a very high-energy, positively vibe show. It’s very upbeat. We just try to create a positive energy throughout the venue. We try to make sure everybody is having as much fun as we are. You can maybe expect me to be climbing up the walls. Like one time when we played DeLuna Fest I climbed the side of the stage all the way up to the top. Expect the unexpected for sure. That was the first DeLuna Fest we did.
MS: Coolest part of The Revivalist experience for you?
Shaw: Getting to connect on a different level with so many people. Especially nowadays, with the advent of social media, I feel like it has connected people in a lot of ways, but also I think some ways it has taken away some personal and intellectual connection. For the most part, we like to make connections with our people. That’s the way we think it should be.
MS: Along with your touring, you’ve done some serious traveling recently. What was more amazing, Italy or the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame?
Shaw: I’m definitely going to say Italy. At any given turn you can see a statue or building that’s three thousand years old. And until you’re there, in front of it…I couldn’t fathom what that feeling was like, but once you’re there, it’s just so much history, it really, really puts you in perspective. It puts a lot of things in perspective for sure. It was a great time. Italy was amazing. I encourage anyone to go to Rome, who hasn’t been there. It was the center of the world for thousands of years. That’s where everything went down. It was crazy, to be really up in that, to see it.
MS: I’m a history buff. I want to see the Coliseum before I die.
Shaw: Oh my God, man. Walking through that thing was just like “Whaaaat! Ok” Yeah. That was cool.
MS: You’re from Ohio. What did you major in at Ohio State?
Shaw: My major was construction management with a minor in music. I should have done the exact opposite. Which is like everything in my life.
MS: I’ve always wondered, how did you go from Ohio to New Orleans? How did that journey begin?
Shaw: My girlfriend, we had both just graduated college and we definitely were looking around for places. I wanted to go somewhere where I could pursue a career in music. She wanted to go somewhere to get out of the city and blossom and try to be somewhere else other than the Midwest. I love the Midwest, I love Ohio, I love the people there, but it definitely wasn’t the place for any real musical growth. Not that much going on in terms of music. So we were looking around; New York, Nashville, L.A., San Francisco. Didn’t really think about New Orleans until she mentioned it, then we came down here visiting a friend just kind of on a whim and it was amazing, so we were like, totally we’re going to New Orleans. That’s where all of the real heart and soul music is going down. You can’t beat it. This is the place to be if you really want to get your chops busted because this is where all of the players are. Any given day of the week you can see somebody who tours with a super famous musician just playing at an avenue pub. So it’s cool.
MS: What are your top five favorite albums of all time?
Shaw: I’m not going to be able to tell you albums. I’m going to be able to tell you artists. I would say definitely Bill Withers, Willie Nelson, Otis Redding, James Brown, love Pearl Jam, and Led Zeppelin.
MS: Two Part question; your Favorite concert as an artist and as a fan?
Shaw: My favorite concert as a musician, that I’ve seen so far has been “Snark Puppy” They’re a band, we played a few shows with those guys. They are amazing. As an artist, I would say my favorite is probably going to be…man…that’s a hard one. I don’t really know. Let’s go with Bill Withers. I’m going to have to say I haven’t seen him live, but I have seen shows of him live on t.v., and it seems like he’s just a real person; he’s not really trying. He doesn’t have to practice that hard. Just his artistry. He is soul. He is music. My favorite show? Definitely our last Voodoo set. That was my favorite so far (Shaw catches himself) Oh no! Actually Hobo Fest, that was my favorite. That was awesome.
MS: What is the craziest thing you’ve seen at a Revivalist show?
Shaw: (chuckles) Oh my gosh. Man. We’ve definitely…gosh…I don’t know. I could tell you some of the crazy things that I’ve done at a Revivalist show. I’m going to say this New Year’s Eve, climbed up the balcony at this place called Mason. It overlooked the stage and I jumped up, grabbed onto the railing, pulled myself up, climbed up over the balcony and sang the last verse of “Catching Fireflies” from the balcony and threw that mic back down and jumped back down on the stage.
MS: This is a crazy question now, but do you prefer crunchy or creamy peanut butter?
Shaw: (Silence) Crunchy or creamy peanut butter? Crunchy.
Anything you want to add before we wrap it up?
Shaw: I hate peanut butter. (laughs)
– Michael L. Smith
Link to an additional photo gallery of the concert by PNJ photographer Jody Link