Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers hit the Robinson Center stage to a sparse crowd. Her energy didn't suffer as she pounded the guitar, stomped her way around the mic, and sang her heart out. Between songs she spoke of her fondness for Little Rock, specifically Whitewater Tavern, which drew cheers from the crowd. However, her band wasn't exactly on the same plane. They delivered on backups and accompaniment, but Samantha's spark didn't seem to transfer.
Intermission filled in the lower level of Robinson, and the crowd's energy became palpable. When the lights went down, folks pressed forward filling aisles and empty seats. Opening with "Salina" and "Shame," then went straight into "I and Love and You," title track on the upcoming album. A subdued and introspective opening, yes, but energetic nonetheless. The boys give it 110% no matter the song's message. They successfully integrated the old and the new - from the banjo-filled "Distraction #74," to a piano and full drum set in "Kickdrum Heart" - weaving a tale the crowd was ecstatic over. "Salvation Song" was the closer, and they indulged fans in an encore with "Go to Sleep." Look for a full review in next week's issue.