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A Wonderfully Weird Halloween With Elephant Revival

It’s hard to think of a better way to spend Halloween than in Portland, Oregon at a show by Colorado’s Elephant Revival, a band whose modern spin on haunting “old-timey” music suites the holiday quite nicely.

It was my first time catching Elephant Revival, but the band has been making quite a name for itself since it’s 2006 inception, signing to Rough Shod Records and playing with the likes of Yonder Mountain String Band, Bela Fleck, Leftover Salmon and Little Feat, among others. We caught the first night of a two night Portland run, and I left very impressed with the band, despite the relative unease the phrase “string band from Colorado” generally inspires in me.

Bonnie Paine (vocals, washboard, djembe, musical saw), Sage Cook (electric banjo/guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, viola, vocals), Dango Rose (double-bass, mandolin, banjo, vocals), Daniel Rodriguez (acoustic guitar, electric banjo/guitar, vocals) and Bridget Law (fiddle and vocals) spin their musical tales with a fragile beauty, and can easily break out the smiles-for-miles breakdowns as well. For me, their ability to successfully straddle that line between playful hoedown and melancholic beauty is the band’s greatest strength.

Beyond the band’s performance, they had invited the audience to participate in a costume contest, with the winners receiving coupons for the merch table. The Aladdin Theater was packed with various ghouls, goblins as well as the usual girls who use Halloween as an excuse to go out in public dressed as Slutty McWhorington (not hating at all ladies, just saying). The contest added to the fun of the evening, and it ended up being the gals dress as the Hocus Pocus witches who took home the crown.

Cellist/Jester/Alien From The Planet LSD Rushad Eggleston opened the night with a performance that was… well it was pretty amazing. At one moment he was playing his instrument so well it made me think he was a member of a famous orchestra who had lost his mind, the next he was straddling a pumpkin, and improvising lyrics about his balls resting upon said pumpkin. It weirded some people out to be sure, which is perfect for Halloween, and I thought it was great. Eggleston also joined Elephant Revival for the entirety of their second set and blended wonderfully and effortlessly with the band, adding a layer of depth to their already meticulously crafted songs. Definitely keep your eyes out for this talented curiosity.

All in all it was a wonderful Halloween, and Elephant Revival certainly made it clear why the band has had such success with their nicely blended mix of traditional sounds. Both Elephant Revival and Eggleston provided a wonderful soundtrack to a joyous night spent celebrating the weird and wonderful side of life, something both Halloween and Portland do exceptionally well.

Tour Dates:
Sat 12/27/14 Colorado Springs, CO Stargazers Theatre And Event Center
Sun 12/28/14 Colorado Springs, CO Stargazers Theatre And Event Center
Tue 12/30/14 Salt Lake City, UT The State Room
Wed 12/31/14 Salt Lake City, UT The State Room
Appearing at “Jam Cruise”
Tue 01/06/15 Miami, FL MSC Cruises -MSC Divina
Wed 01/07/15 Miami, FL MSC Cruises -MSC Divina
Thu 01/08/15 Miami, FL MSC Cruises -MSC Divina
Fri 01/09/15 Miami, FL MSC Cruises -MSC Divina
Sat 01/10/15 Miami, FL MSC Cruises -MSC Divina
Sun 01/11/15 Miami, FL MSC Cruises -MSC Divina