Although Colour Revolt has performed in Tulsa before, the band has never been as readily embraced or anticipated as it is for this Friday night's show at Fassler Hall. Of course, that's also because the band's current lineup (which now includes drummer Paddy Ryan) hasn't yet appeared in our fine city. Now, instead of merely being a critically adored indie buzz-band, the group enters Green Country accepted as one of our own.
Of course, with only one listen to Colour Revolt's latest CD, The Cradle, it's not hard to see why the band is critically adored. Although the music contains a distinctly indie aesthetic, the band also takes on a darker, slightly gothic tone, reflecting the influences of the Deep South (the band was founded in Oxford, Miss.). Still, the sound is hard to pin down: at once mystical and dark, yet melodic and soaring in the same breathe.
That can be credited to Jesse Coppenbarger and Sean Kirkpatrick, the two remaining original members who share vocal and guitar duties. Colour Revolt is definitely the manifestation of their vision, but to their credit, they do encourage and seek the input of the other members of the band, which have rotated (often to the principals' chagrin), to make this more of a band project than a dictatorship.
The addition of Ryan roughly nine months ago has added a degree of stability to the band and its rhythm section. Even though the band's website lists Coppenbarger and Kirkpatrick as Colour Revolt with Ryan, keyboardist Brooks Tipton and bassist Luke White at touring members, Ryan said he feels secure in the band and that he's found a home.
Ryan's journey to Colour Revolt wasn't without its twists and turns. A native Tulsan, he grew up playing drums in metal bands before going off to college in New York then Nashville, Tenn. Once he returned in 2006, Ryan joined Straight Lines, which transformed into Dead Sea Choir -- one of Tulsa's best indie rock acts. He also became known as one of Tulsa's most rock steady drummers, playing six nights a week in various bands and covering a variety of styles.
Eventually, Ryan was tapped for the drummer position in Unwed Sailor, which he filled for roughly two years before being recruited for Bear Colony. Another two years of touring with Bear Colony meant Ryan spent the better part of four years touring and crossing paths with a number of other bands.
When the call from Colour Revolt came last summer, he was already a fan and familiar with the band's material. Recommendations from both keyboardist Brooks Tipton (whom Ryan had played with previously in both Unwed Sailor and bear Colony) and departing drummer Daniel Davison (who accepted the call to replace Aaron Gillespie in Underoath), all but sealed the deal.
"The new record came out Aug. 10, but I started playing with the band in July," Ryan said. "We've been playing material from all three releases, though -- both full lengths and the EP."
"It's kind of bizarre when I think about it," Ryan reflected, "because I've made a living out of mimicking other players, learning their parts and playing them well enough that no one notices the difference. That's good, I guess, but I'm also looking forward to being a part of the creative process and getting my own playing out there finally."
That opportunity may come sooner than expected. Even though the latest Colour Revolt disc is barely seven months old, Coppenbarger and Kirkpatrick are already planning for the next disc.
"Sean and Jesse are already talking about the next disc," Ryan said, "and approached me about writing and being more a part of the band in that way, so I'm looking forward to that."
According to Ryan, his favorite part of the band is Coppenbarger and Kirkpatrick's writing and the dynamics they bring to them. "The best way I can describe the songs is 'heartbreakingly pretty'," he said. "All of the songs are written from a singer/songwriter perspective, and the way the two of them sing together is haunting. It's like heavy indie-rock with pretty vocals."
Bright Colours. Of course, with only one listen to Colour Revoltís latest CD, The Cradle, itís not hard to see why the band
is critically adored. Although the music contains a distinctly indie aesthetic, the band also takes on a darker, slightly gothic
tone, reflecting the influences of the Deep South.
"It's dark, but has more distance between the heavy and the soft, kind of like a whisper to a scream quality," he continued. "I hit (the drums) hard and play loud because of my heavy metal background and Colour Revolt lends itself to that well. It really excites me to start writing with them."
Before the writing starts, however, Colour Revolt finally rolls through Tulsa for a show this Friday night, March 11, at Fasller Hall with Low Litas opening. It's all part of a short run that take s the band to Denton, Texas, for the NX35 Festival on Sunday before hitting SXSW next week for five shows over four days. Ryan will also be working in a sixth show, drumming for Johnny Polygon right as after he completes a Colour Revolt showcase, so it will undoubtedly be a crazy week. More extensive touring is planned for the summer with the band considering a couple of possible options.
Although the band may pass on the bigger tour for a more promising option, Ryan said he trusts his bandleaders. "Jesse wants to write songs that last for 20 years and he and Sean have always made smart decisions with this band," he said. "I want to be 50 and still playing, showing my kids and grandkids what I've done, so I'm sure whatever we do will be the right thing for the band."
In the meantime, don't miss Colour Revolt as the band stops in for an intimate club show at Fassler Hall this Friday night and a chance to make the rest of the band feel like it has come home with Ryan. It's just one of a number of shows that will give you a taste of SXSW if you can't make the run to Austin.
Although you may not know all of the names rolling through town over the next two weeks, you can rest assured that many of the shows -- both big and small -- provide a brief glimpse of what's going on in Austin over the next week. We've got all the highlights of both touring bands and local acts, so read on to get your tips to get you started.
Thursday night's big show to kick off the week is As I Lay Dying at Cain's Ballroom with Winds of Plague and After the Burial, keeping metalcore alive for the young crowd. Just down the street, Eric and the the Adams play Hunt Club to start the weekend of on a local note.
Friday night, March 11 sees Randy Travis bring his tour to The Joint for another country show at The Hard Rock while 7 Hours to Southland brings some country-rock to Mercury Lounge. Although the Colour Revolt show at Fassler Hall is the night's best bet, you can also check out a few sure things like Here Is There at Tulsa Backwards, Hymn for Her at Crystal Pistol or Riley Jantzen & the Spirits with People People and The Savage Young at Soundpony.
Saturday night, March 12, provides the most to choose from. Andy Frasco and the UN bring the young gun's blues and funk to Mercury Lounge for breath of fresh air, but it's hard to pass up Drag The River at Crystal Pistol with Austin Lucas and Chloe Manor for a unique mix of American and punk ethic. Broncho will also be playing the Pistol's back room the same night with The Red Alert, Skating Polly and Stephen Egerton & the Frequent Flyers.
Meanwhile, we've got some killer local show Saturday as well, like Moai Broadcast at The Treehouse and King Cobra with First Lady Assassins at Soundpony.
On Sunday night, March 13, The Dirty Guv'nahs headline Cain's Ballroom with Panda Resistance opening the show and a great night of unexpected indie-pop hits T-Town with The Noise FM, The Photo Atlas, The Rockettops and The Epilogues at The Marquee as the parade of bands makes its way to Austin for SXSW.
Finally, the week wraps up with a pair of big shows: Scissor Sisters at Cain's ballroom and One Republic packing out yet another top-notch rock show at Osage Events Center on Wednesday, March 16. Just look around, because there's something for everyone this week.
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