Live Review: The Band CAMINO + flor + Hastings @ The Ritz – April 22nd 2022

Nashville-based pop rockers The Band CAMINO had been kicking around for five years cranking out acclaimed singles and EPs, building a solid fanbase with hook-laden heartfelt rock before finally releasing their much-anticipated full-length debut last September.  The self-titled album, released by Elektra Records, took their signature multifaceted pop-rock style and stepped it up a bit with a more polished production and a poppier upbeat sound.  Celebrating the release, the band have hit the road on the aptly titled, The Tour CAMINO.  This past Friday night saw them stop at the Ritz in Raleigh NC to perform for an energized sold-out crowd.

Despite the early start time of 7pm, the room was pretty full as fellow Nashville-based singer-songwriter, and rising star, Hastings took the stage to kick off the evening.  Hastings hit the accelerator immediately, starting with his heavily streamed track “Chapstick,” and rewarded the fans who arrived early with a short six-song, but irresistible, set of indie pop-rock that shared the feel-good vibe of the headliners, The Band CAMINO.  He was engaging, energetic, and with only his first self-titled EP under his belt, definitely someone to watch for as the buzz continues to build.

After Hastings’ 30 minute appetizer, the room was swelling to capacity and charged with excitement as Oregon indie-rockers flor stepped up.  If Hastings started on the front foot, flor took the challenge and managed to ratchet up the energy even more.  Frontman Zach Grace led the charge whether furiously attacking the guitar, delivering keyboard runs, or filling out the sound with both, all while providing strong distinct vocals.  Not to be outdone, bandmates McKinley Kitts on guitar, Dylan Bauld on bass, and Kyle Hill on drums matched the pace and energy of their frontman.  Their set was filled with light and vibrant songs that made a genuine connection with the crowd and held it throughout their set.  The audience was dancing and cheering wildly.  Anyone who came in late would be forgiven for mistaking flor for the headliners based on the feedback from the crowd.

The Ritz was packed and positively humming with energy after the double shot of solid opening acts.  When the lights dropped and The Band CAMINO walked out onto the stage all of that pent up energy positively exploded as the crowd roared in anticipation.  After a brief pause to acknowledge the crowd, they launched into “Know it All,” from their self-titled debut album.  “Roses” was next up, providing a one-two punch from the new album, before reaching back to 2018 for the single “Less Than I Do.”  The band were spaced across the stage fully utilizing the space, with vocalist/guitarist (and keys player) Jeffery Jordan to the right and vocalist/guitarist Spencer Stewart at the left, and drummer Garrison Burgess driving proceedings from a riser at the center back of the stage.  While they might have lined up at the edges, no one except Burgess stayed in one spot.  Jordan was all over the stage and often taking front and center on an elevated riser at the front of the stage, reaching out and closing the gap to the dancing and cheering fans behind the rail.  At one point, he even climbed on a speaker stack at the side of the stage reaching out to grasp the hands of the adoring fans in the vicinity. 

The lighting was high-end and impressive, providing a visual experience to match the sonic one provided by the band.  With only one full-length album to pull from, the 21-song set covered the majority of their output and it struck a noticeable balance between their earlier indie leaning sound and their current more poppy soundscape.  If the openers were high energy, The Band CAMINO were stratospheric. The crowd definitely appreciated the ride, and there were times that the cheering and sing-alongs from the fans threatened to overpower the sound and energy emanating from the stage. The performance was edging into anthemic territory.  Many of the songs were begging to be heard in larger venues.  After witnessing the show at the Ritz, if The Band CAMINO continues down the current path, its only a matter of time until those songs are belted from larger and larger stages.  Do yourself a favor and catch them now while you can still experience them in more intimate venues.

Setlist:

  • Know It All
  • Roses
  • Less Than I Do
  • 2/14
  • I Think I Like You
  • Who Do You Think You Are?
  • Know Me
  • Song About You
  • Underneath My Skin
  • Never A Good Time
  • Hush Hush
  • Just a Phase
  • California
  • Damage
  • Help Me Get Over You
  • Crying Over You
  • What I Want
  • Haunted
  • See Through
  • 1 Last Cigarette
  • Daphne Blue

The Band CAMINO + flor + Hastings @ The Ritz
Photos © Dan Kulpa // Clashdan Photography

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