In which I review RVIVR!!!! (Exclamation points mine)

Every so often I go to a show where one of the bands look like they’ve having the best time of their lives during the show. Even less frequently does more than one band appear to be having the Greatest. Day. Ever. at that very show. And only once, in my experience, has that happened twice in one day.

And yet, this was Saturday at the final two RVIVR shows of the tour. I went to both, and going to see two RVIVR shows in one day is up high on my list of things in life that I did right. One show was better than the other, meaning they were both fantastic, crowded punk shows. Both took place in the tiny back rooms of bars, with a small stage that couldn’t quite contain the volume and force of the music.

Unfortunately, I didn’t plan ahead for taking photos, and my smartphone/high-tech camera was full to capacity and wouldn’t take any pictures. Luckily, I attended the show with F Yeah! Queer Music, where you can find a few photos and another great review. Both shows were so small and we planned well. Even at the packed and sold-out Union Pool, we managed to get close to the stage. This meant singing along and dancing literally alongside various bands before and after their turn on the stage. At one point, I found myself next to the members of Dogjaw, and told one of them how much they killed it at both shows. Saturday was way better than the third-to-last show at NYU on Tuesday, she told me. That one was weird. These last two shows really were the best.

And what more could you really hope for at the finale?

The Homewreckers opened the St. Vitus show with a classic punk sound and empowering tendencies. Guitarist Cristy C. Road also took part in an event at the New Museum the following day, and wrote a raw graphic novel that I plan to one day read in its entirety. “When capitalism falls/I’ll still meet you at the shopping mall,” went the awesome chorus of one song.

Dogjaw was next at St. Vitus. They played both shows, and they did so with furious intensity. They are raw and vicious and don’t hold back on stage. They will blow out your eardrums and you will want more. Listen to them. Seriously. They have a sound that will blow you away.

Extra Feeler opened the Union Pool show. Like Dogjaw and The Homewreckers, they’re a solid group of three with the basics of guitar, bass and drum. Three instruments, lots of power.

Shellshag is crazy. They’re reminiscent of the White Stripes in that the guy is on guitar while the lady rocks on drums, with a similar shoegaze-y feel on some of their songs. Wiki says they formed in the same year, so it’s likely a coincidence. Shellshag brought their own set up (a mic tower, three drums), started their set with a music video, covered songs by RVIVR and The Cure, and ended their set with a guitar handing from a chain on the ceiling, at which they threw drumsticks. Super danceable and insanely fun.

And then, RVIVR. Oh man. There are so many words, so many positive adjectives and adverbs to use for these shows. I described Dogjaw as empowering, but it’s so fitting for RVIVR, too. Free. Bold. Mind-blowing. Impossibly catchy. Real. They played through a good part of their discography, and their energy didn’t lag for one song.

Amazing shows. So glad I went to both. Can’t wait to see these bands again.

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