Summer in Boston usually means free concerts, and this year is no different. Boston alternative rock radio station ALT 92.9 typically hosts 3-4 free outdoor shows a year over the course of a normal summer, most of which take place in Copley Square Park. Last year, due to construction in Copley Square, the shows were moved to City Hall Plaza where fans were treated to stellar shows from artists such as The Wombats and PVRIS. But now Copley Square is up and running and once again the host for Alt 92.9’s summer shows.
Last week, New Orleans soul rockers The Revivalists, kicked off the free show summer series. The Revivalists are currently riding the waves of their number one single “Wish I Knew You,” which was released in 2016, but has experienced a major resurgence this summer. On a hot summer afternoon music fans packed into Copley Sq. joined by passers-by heading home from their work day who stopped for a glimpse of what was going on.
Singer/songwriter Brent Shuttlesworth got things started shortly after 6pm with a short, but sweet, set of original acoustic tunes. Shuttlesworth was joined during his last song by Vermont roots rocker Chad Hollister who stepped in with his own band, The Chad Hollister Trio shortly after. The Chad Hollister Trio played their own short and sweet set complete with the ever rare mandolin solo.
The Revivalists took the stage for their headline set, in front of a crowd that had grown to the thousands from the few hundred who had originally been there since early afternoon. While The Revivalists didn’t get enough time for a full scale headline set, they were able to play about the equivalent of a festival headlining set. They kicked their set off rewarding the loyal Revivalists fans who had waited at the barricade all afternoon with a handful of older material, including “Catching Fireflies” off their 2010 record “Vital Signs.”
Once the band began playing “Wish I Knew You” a sea of iPhones and cameras popped up of out seemingly nowhere, as even the casual ‘just stopping by’ after-work crowd made the connection recognizing the hot song that’s been dominating airwaves this summer. They would follow that up with an energetic rendition of their hottest song before this summer, “Criminal” from their 2014 album “City of Sound.” Finishing off their set, The Revivalists elected to go with a classic cover of the Beatles tune “With A Little Help from My Friends,” another one that even the casual onlookers enjoyed.
The band did a stellar job of tailoring their set to the setting as they recognized that while a good chunk of the crowd had come out to see them, the overwhelming majority were only familiar with a couple of their songs, or had just decided to wait out rush hour traffic by taking in some free music. They kept things simple and sweet, while still finding a way to reward their fans with some deeper cuts from the early days.
For the folks who were made into Revivalists fans by Thursday’s set, the band recently announced a fall headline tour that will see the band return to Boston on November 18th for a full scale headline date at House of Blues.
THE REVIVALISTS 2017 TOUR DATES:
August 25 - Greenville, SC @ Greenville Zoo August 26 - Wilmington, NC @ Greenfield Lake Amphitheater August 27 - Arrington, VA @ Lock'n Music Festival September 1 - Del Mar, CA @ Del Mar Concert Series September 3 - Snowmass Village, CO @ Jazz Aspen Snowmass September 8 - Hamilton, OH @ David Shaw's Big River Get Down* September 9 - Hamilton, OH @ David Shaw's Big River Get Down September 14 - Fredericton, NB @ Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival September 16 - Norfolk, VA @ ETC Concert on the Point September 22 - Las Vegas, NV @ Life is Beautiful Festival September 23 - St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant September 24 - Franklin, TN @ Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival October 6 - Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits October 13 - Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits November 15 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club November 16 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club November 17 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore November 18 - Boston, MA @ House Of Blues November 28 - Lafayette, LA @ Acadiana Center For The Arts November 29 - Tulsa, OK @ Cain's Ballroom December 1 - Denver, CO @ The Fillmore December 6 - Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room At Old National Centre December 8 - N. Myrtle Beach @ House Of Blues December 9 - Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz December 10 - Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore December 12 - Knoxville, TN @ The Mill & Mine December 14 - Mobile, AL @ Saenger Theatre December 15 - Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle December 16 - Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
For those who missed out on the free music, you’ll have two more chances to catch an Alt 92.9 free show with American Authors performing in Copley Square on August 31st, and Danish rockers and EarthFest alumni New Politics playing a special Saturday afternoon set on September 9th and the popular SoWa Open Market in South Boston. For more details on that show visit: http://alt929boston.com/altrocksboston/
Photos - ALT 92.9 Free Summer Concert Series with The Revivalists: