Last night Hastings, flor, and The Band Camino brought their lively trio to the Ritz in Raleigh, NC as a part of “The Tour Camino.” This was the first tour for The Band Camino since COVID-19, so it was not surprising that the show easily sold out.
Nashville-based singer, songwriter, and producer Hastings opened the show on a high note with a lively surge of pop, punk, and indie sounding tunes. His music was fueled by his captivating performance skills driving each note passionately into the mic like a ballad to the crowd. Hastings just released his first self-titled EP in 2021, but from the musical prowess of his songs, you would have though he was playing songs from his fifth album.
After Hastings’ six-song set, flor took the stage in form of a blur of bright-red flowing curls jumping up and down belonging to lead singer Zach Grace. He wore a smile ear-to-ear and flor opened their outing with “Play Along” while Grace spun and danced around stage with his guitar. Flor is one of the coolest bands I have seen live before because of the incredible lightness and positive energy they carry themselves with. Their music sounds like a personification of falling in love, seeing a dear old friend, or sticking your head out the window on a sunny day, and they infected all of us with the same sentiments during their performance that sonically brought a refreshing, punchy lightness to the venue. After their ~35-minute set, the anticipation set in for the final act: The Band Camino.
The crowds roared as the lights cut and deep blue smoke filled the room, and the triad made up of Memphis-natives Jeffery Jordan and Spencer Stewart and Nashville-native Garrison Burgress leaped on the stage to the opening riff of “Know It All.” They followed their set with “Roses” which helped to push the band’s unique anti-sad boy culture, and they had the crowd straining their vocal cords each chorus screaming, “Stop and smell the ****ing roses.” The boys then took it back to two of their older songs that helped get them to where they are today, “Less Than I Do” and “2/14,” which was very much appreciated by the crowd. Something unique about The Band Camino is that they use Jordan and Stewart both as alternating lead singers, and have perfected the pairing of their skills. They tapped into this secret weapon with their next few songs beginning with “I Think I Like You,” and showcased both of their lead singer’s incredible talent as well as impressive vocal range.
A reason I think The Band Camino has grown so much in the past few years is their ability to talk about identify and the searching and finding of who we are. As they honestly said, COVID-19 destroyed many things about our lives, it made us doubt what we invested our lived into, it isolated us, and we all struggled. Yet, you could feel all of the pent-up sentiments of the last two years of COVID-19 meeting cathartic release from the moment these boys stepped on stage. In the energy of their performance, but also as many of these new Band Camino songs wrestle with these questions of finding ourselves. After all we as a world have walked through, there was something so unifying and unforgettable about once again being in a crowded room jumping up and down, and being able to scream and dance our hearts out to these lyrics that express well our collective struggles.
The band brought the crowd through every emotion of triumph, defeat, love, heartbreak, all in the span of an hour and a half. The curtains closed to the resounding notes of “See Through,” “1 Last Cigarette”, and “Daphne Blue,” leaving a sold out crowd a little more positive, a little more light-hearted, and a little bit more hopeful than they were when they walked in the building.
The Band Camino