Remember these RiversEdge concert acts? Some have gone on to much bigger fame

RiversEdge amphitheater in Hamilton. JOURNAL-NEWS FILE PHOTO

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RiversEdge amphitheater in Hamilton. JOURNAL-NEWS FILE PHOTO

As the Hamilton’s RiversEdge Amphitheater prepares for its latest season of free outdoor concerts, residents are reminded that several acts that have passed through those shows have risen to bigger fame.

One was The Revivalists, a New Orleans-based band featuring Hamilton native David Shaw. The Revivalists, in fact, played a series intended to warm the city up for the amphitheater the year before RiversEdge came to be, said Adam Helms, who organizes the RiversEdge summer-evening concerts.

“I think we’ve done a really great job of identifying emerging talent and emerging artists,” Helms said. “We’ll catch the bands when they’re starting out, and then a year or two later, you’ll see them on major music festivals or doing their own headline tour.”

For example, Tyler Childers performed at last year’s Whimmydiddle Country Music Festival, “and just this past week he sole out three consecutive nights at the Madison Theater down in Covington, and he’s selling out shows throughout the country,” Helms said.

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The Record Company, a bluesy rock group, played Hamilton a few years ago, and since was nominated for a Grammy.

And Larkin Poe, another bluesy rock band, played RiversEdge last year, “and when they left Hamilton, that night they were driving up to Cleveland to open up the show for Keith Urban,” Helms said.

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Back in 2012, the year before RiversEdge, Helms said a concert series was offered to familiarize Hamilton people with what would happen the next year at the amphitheater.

Many of the bands in 2012 performed from a trailer that opened up to become a temporary stage. Some shows were at the Butler County Courthouse. One was at Bailey’s Square in the Second Ward neighborhood, with others under the city’s McDulin Parking Garage in the 100 block of N. 2nd St.

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Helms notes with pride that some bands have returned since the start.

“If you look at that lineup from 2012, there’s two familiar mainstays on there,” Helms said. “The first band that ever performed at what is now the RiversEdge concert series was 90 Proof Twang,” which opened for another act.

“And later that year, we also had The Revivalists,” now based out of New Orleans, who feature Hamilton native David Shaw, he said. “Look where The Revivalists are now, selling out big theaters and music festivals, and in 2012, they played on the show wagon underneath the parking garage. Those two (90 Proof Twang and The Revivalists) have been constants and mainstays.”

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The Revivalists have had three songs reach Billboard's Hot 100 list for alternative music: Wish I Knew You was No. 1 in 2017; All My Friends peaked at No. 7 in December; and Change is now No. 17.

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In 2018, the concert series drew about 30,000 people, up from about 25,000 a year earlier.

ExploreMORE: Listen to and see The Revivalists’ Change video

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