Holy Ghost Tent Revival
Steelwater Coffee Bar
February 27, 2009
As Holy Ghost Tent Revival wrapped up its show at Steelwater Coffee Bar in my sleepy Appalachian town of Wise, Virginia, my nine year old son John Patrick had but one thing to say: "Dad, it looks they just got out of a swimming pool.
Indeed, the guys in this Greensboro, NC, sextet were drenched, as they had just spent two hours attacking their songs and instruments with classic punk rock ferocity. Simply put, these guys never stood still. They bounced. They danced. They swayed, gyrated, and traded places on stage in what can only be described as chaotic ballet.
That infectious energy has established Holy Ghost Tent Revival as one of the hottest live acts in the Southeast.
An enthusiastic crowd of approximately 70 folks showed up to fill Steelwater for the show. Most stood and danced, driven by the band’s nearly indescribable blend of rowdy swing, 60’s pop, jazz, ragtime, and rock.
The band careened through a hefty portion of tunes from their debut album, So Long I Screamed. The set was punctuated by crowd favorites "Getting Over Your Love" and "Walking Down the Street," while a timely cover of the Beatles’ "Don’t Let Me Down" was well received.
Highlights of the show included a powerful rendition of "Hammer Fell," a tale of love, jealousy, and murder, and the set closer "Love Emergency," a theatrical ode to bawdy thoughts and even bawdier behavior.
If Friday was any indication, intimate shows like those at Steelwater Coffee Bar will become increasingly rare for Holy Ghost Tent Revival and the band’s fans. These guys are just too good at what they do to be confined to small venues for long. Be on the lookout for Holy Ghost Tent Revival if they come close and catch them when you can.