September 22, 2016
Hi-Fi Indianapolis, IN
Photographer/Writer: Tyler Muir
One of the meanings for revival is an improvement in the condition or strength in something, and Elephant Revival seems to never forget that. The band came back to Indianapolis, Indiana September 22nd, 2016 making it the first stop on their tour in support of their new album “Petals.” Elephant Revival’s companions on the fall tour, Dead Horses, set the mood by getting everyone comfortable at the picturesque Hi-Fi, in one of downtown’s most gentrified districts.
The Milwaukee-based trio’s acoustic set included, Sarah Vos on vocals and guitar, Peter Raboin on guitar, mandolin and vocals and the lower acoustic end Daniel Wolff on Double Bass and vocals. The band’s moral compass aligns with that of the headliner that we are all one and that love is the path to unity through the darkness to better times. Their haunting Americana Folk melodies drifted through the Hi-Fi compelling the audience to join their path of unity.
When Elephant Revival took the stage, Bonnie Paine on washboard, djembe, musical saw and stompbox, Bridget Law on fiddle, Charlie Rose on banjo, pedal steel, guitar, horns, cello and double bass, Dango Rose on double bass, mandolin and banjo and Daniel Rodriguez on guitar, banjo and double bass, the crowd settled in for a relaxing quaint evening with the band.
There were moments throughout the night where the band proved time and again how masterfully they have continued to grow and how they create their own style and genre. Several times throughout the performance Bonnie’s emotion came out showcasing her strength lies in being able to tell such a tale through her lyrics as well as stage presence. The band finds strength tying themselves around things that revolve around the universe, in their new album they have delved into things revolving around social issues. The band’s new music video “When I Fall” found them working with a non-profit agency to raise awareness and funds for the current immigrant and refugee crises.
A new, stronger sense of intimacy seemed present on stage with them. Maybe there is power in numbers, maybe each member is more in touch with themselves, or with each other, whatever seemed to bring it out, it seems strong enough to not wilt away anytime soon. The passion they brought as well is such that you could not walk away that night without being inspired, having every emotional string tugged.
Charlie Rose brings a new dynamic, his skills on the pedal steel felt right alongside the rest of the band. Another pleasant surprise was Bonnie on the electric cello. Yet another meaning of revival is an instance of something becoming popular, active, or important again. It is safe to say the band continues to show the importance of using each member’s talents to amplify one another’s. Very few bands can have their instrumental parts tell a story as much as their lyrics do.
The distance fans are willing to travel to see their favorite band says a lot about the connection they feel towards the band. Inside the Hi-Fi there were fans from all over the Midwest. Along the rail were four fans from South Bend, Indiana who had plans to catch the first four shows of the band’s tour, by the end of the night it seemed they had convinced a couple next to them from Chicago to follow them to Wisconsin to catch the second night of the tour. The common theme among the crowd was it is truly a treat when Elephant Revival comes to your town. In this day and age with everyone having a camera in their pocket and a conversation that cannot wait until after the show, a true sign of fan appreciation was shown that night by both of those things being kept at a minimum.