Last Thursday evening marked the beginning of The Band CAMINO’s first headlining tour run in two years, and for many folks it felt like the proper return to live music. Sure, the tour truly started the night before in Louisville, Kentucky, but I’d imagine that of the sold out Thursday night crowd, most of the Indianapolis attendees hadn’t been to a concert (or at least one in a “normal capacity”) since before the world shut down in March of 2020. The band themselves even alluded to shaking the dust off, and while it had been a while since the now-Nashville-based trio had played “a full 20-song set” in their words, I don’t think anyone noticed or cared.
The night got started with Hastings, whose fun, catchy electro-pop served as the perfect opening act for an Egyptian Room that was already mostly packed. The Nashville-based singer who helped write The Band CAMINO’s smash hit “Roses” played the majority of his own debut EP, released late last year, in addition to performing an unreleased song called “Hurt My Feelings.” Hastings’ solid guitarwork was evident throughout, but particularly so towards the end of his set on “Hurt My Feelings” and on the rocking closer “Blank Me,” with the former of the two channeling a funk-esque sensibility and the latter harkening back to the radio rock of the mid-2000s.
flor was up next, and the Oregon natives kept the good times rolling with their signature indie pop sound. The quartet found a nice balance between tunes from their first two full-length albums and new material from their forthcoming third LP Future Shine, playing all three of the singles released at this point: “Play Along,” “Big Shot,” and “Skate.” A modest light show served as the visual complement to their fun, feel-good set, packed with stellar basslines, even if they did leave out two of my personal favorites of theirs, “slow motion” and “ley lines.”
Of course, the ones everyone had packed out Old National Centre’s Egyptian Room to see was not Hastings, nor flor, but The Band CAMINO. Indeed, by this point the “mostly packed” room had turned into a completely packed room, and the result was pure symbiosis. On stage, the trio (together with an added fourth member on bass guitar to help round out their live sound) brought the party with a terrifically tight performance running in tandem with lights and fog galore. Meanwhile, everyone in the audience stayed busy throwing their hands up, dancing, and singing along, not just to the group’s most popular songs but to their many deep cuts as well.
There were a couple of things about their set that really stood out to me. The first was the ability with which co-frontmen Jeffery Jordan and Spencer Stewart were able to each charm the crowd in their own individual ways. Not many bands can say that they split vocal duties in a way as consistent or as equally-fantastic as Jordan and Stewart do. In fact, up until seeing them live last week (and I’m a little embarrassed to admit this actually) I didn’t even know there were two singers in The Band CAMINO, which I guess just goes to show how seamless and stand-up of a job that they both do.
Another aspect that I found incredibly impressive in their set was the fact that they wholly rejected the idea of the encore. Jordan made mention of this towards the end of their set, at which point the band opted instead to simply stay on stage and play the last two songs that would have made up their encore. It was a refreshing change of pace from many other bands of their caliber that made me think back to a few years ago when I saw Modest Mouse in Bloomington.
While the Memphis-native rockers touched on much of their catalog, playing roughly half of the songs released over the course of their seven year career together, they focused much of their set on hitting tunes from their self-titled debut full-length, released six months ago. They even found a good time for the ironically-titled “Never a Good Time,” their recent collaboration with Swedish EDM duo NOTD. There were several notable tunes they left off their nineteen-track set list, but I suppose that’s to be expected from a band with an ever-expanding library like theirs, so even that in the end was something I couldn’t hold against them. Overall, night two of leg one of The Tour CAMINO was an immensely enjoyable evening that felt like a party from start to finish.
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