The Revival Tour with Chuck Ragan, Jim Ward, Frank Turner, Konrad, Joey Cape – El Rey Theater – Los Angeles, CA

November 7, 2009

Chuck RaganThe 2nd Annual Revival Tour made it's way down to The El Rey Theater in Los Angeles last Saturday for the 10th of 25 shows they would be playing in less than a month. First off I have to say that The El Rey might possibly have been the perfect venue for this show, it's large enough to host a large crowd of people, but has a very intimate feel. There was no barricade separating the crowd of fans from the stage and the security presence seemed minimal.

From the time that the artists took the stage I knew I was in for a show of epic proportions! Frank Turner, Chuck Ragan, Jim Ward, Audra Mae, Possessed by Paul James, Joey Cape, Digger Barnes, and John Gaunt all sharing one stage, amazing! They started the show performing all together and as the night went on, this group of talented musicians kept it rolling as they wandered in and out of each other's sets. It seemed totally unrehearsed and perfect at the same time.

The newest shining star on this tour, Audra Mae, was vital to this show. Being the only female on the bill, she stayed busy throughout the whole night. I loved her duet "Rainbow Connection" with Chuck Ragan!

That was classic! She blew the crowd away with her vocals when she belted out those notes, you could feel it in your soul. For this being her first tour ever, I was super impressed to see her keeping up with all the guys like she did. The crowd loved her and I loved her as well!

John Gaunt's fiddle playing was legendary and honestly every musician involved put on a truly stellar performance. Possessed by Paul James has the most unique vocals, Jim Ward was great, I had never heard his solo stuff and I have to say I loved his set, Joey Cape kept the crowd going, and I think Chuck Ragan broke quite a few hearts as he sweetly dedicated the song "Rotterdam" to his lovely wife and sang her praises for all the hard work she had put into the tour. Last set of the night was Frank Turner, he was a crowd favorite, the whole house sang his songs and he actually spent almost as much of his set in the crowd with his adoring fans as he did on the stage. For the grand finale all the artists took to the stage and played "photosynthesis", but that wasn't the end, they played "Revival Road", and just when you thought the show was over, Chuck Ragan would yell out one more. After 4 1/2 hours of music, these guys were still full of energy, I thought they would go all night. Jim Ward and Frank Turner made their way through the crowd banging their tambourines. And finally with one more song the show was over.

The Revival Tour as Frank and Chuck put it, was about bringing the meaning of music back to life. Music isn't about big record deals, ticket sales, and product advertisement, but about the love, comradery, soul, and unity that you only feel during a live show.  In an age of pop culture where so called music is a product being marketed and exploited to the fullest, it's refreshing to see that there is still a select group of people who really appreciate and promote the true meaning of Punk rock!



-J. Moncrief-
Big Wheel Music Scene Reporter


More photos of the show can be seen HERE

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