When Merriweather Post Pavilion opened its gates this past Saturday, fans feared that the same storms that had disrupted Phases of the Moon Festival in Illinois had rolled east to do the same to All Good Presents Route 29 Revue. Although the weather forecast may have kept Merriweather from even nearing its capacity, it certainly didn’t keep the bands from delivering an entertaining show to the sparse, yet enthusiastic, audience.
Performing at The Route 29 Revue was a somewhat eclectic collection of bands and songwriters: Hurray for the Riff Raff, Guster, The Devil Makes Three, Iron and Wine, Trombone Shorty, and Trampled by Turtles.
Oddly enough, the overcast, rainy skies seemed to be a perfect complement for the shows first band, Hurray for the Riff Raff.
Hurray for the Riff Raff combines Americana banjo with a deep New Orleans rhythm and blues vibe. Their soulful singer, Alynda Lee Segarra, took full advantage of her rainy day surroundings. She initially lulled the crowd into a sense of complacency before allowing her vocal presence to command the full attention of the audience. Forcefully yet eloquently, she reminded them that there was a very serious band on stage and that a concert was taking place rain or shine.
With the show now officially in full swing, Boston’s Guster took the stage. Despite some technical difficulties and an earlier time slot than what they are normally accustomed, Guster certainly managed to get the floor moving. They played a combination of songs from their upcoming album, as well as their extensive catalog of music. The up tempo melody of their hit song, “Satellite,” parted the clouds outside and started a dance party inside. Suddenly the sun was shining and the weather was sweet which was a perfect segway into the day’s next band, The Devil Makes Three.
It’s hard not to admire a three piece bluegrass, country, ragtime, skiffle, blues band that rocks as hard as any act out there. Great songwriting, lyrics, and cover selection, combined with excellent musicianship, sets The Devil Makes Three apart from other bands within the genre. Highlights of their set included “Statesboro Blues” and “Do Wrong Right.”
Iron and Wine reintroduced the audience to effective melody, while Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue almost seemed to startle the slowly mellowing audience with their brand of New Orleans jazz fusion. Trombone Shorty always get the crowd going, and this show was no exception, as the soulful trombonist filled the air with creole classics.
Closing the day’s festivities was Trampled by Turtles, who utilized the evening’s spectacular weather and sky as a backdrop for their brand of acoustic alternative newgrass. Although it was the weather that people were focusing on at the beginning of the show, it was clearly the music that transformed the day and night skies at Route 29 Revue.