REVIEW: Caamp at Riverside Theater

To say that Caamp is having a moment in the indie folk scene is an understatement. Caamp is leading the indie folk scene right now. Toting over 3 million monthly listeners, it’s clear that they have amassed a large following off of their two full LPs and singles. Last night Caamp packed the Riverside in what looked like a sold out show. Caamp might be having a moment but they are here to stay, and last night was all that was needed to believe that statement. 

The Band

Caamp was formed by Taylor Meier and Evan Westfall, who bonded over a shared love of music, love of home and inspiration they culled from Midwest lives they grew up in. The two began writing together, quickly growing a rabid fan base. Their 2016 debut self-titled album gained over 170 million streams and their next album By and By was released via Mom + Pop garnering multiple chart debuts (Billboard Top 200, was the #1 Heatseeker, #1 on the New Artist Alternative Albums, top 5 vinyl album sales for the week and entered the Alternative and Emerging Artist charts.)

Caamp takes everything you’d love about folk music from the banjos, upbeat but heartfelt lyrics, and guitars and make them their own largely due to Taylor Meier’s raspy, I just smoked a pack of cigarettes, but silky vocals. 

The Experience

With the Riverside Theater packed full, Caamp took to the stage to easily the most uproarious folk crowd I’d ever witnessed. After a few songs it was clear as to why everyone was there, these guys simply rock. While still being folk they had this air of rockstars to them that felt extremely natural. That can be said about the whole show as well. Their comfort on stage and playing their songs translated perfectly to the audience.  Who was standing up for the entirety of their show, even at the Riverside with their comfy chairs and everything might I add. 

As their show went on their excitement from both on stage and in the crowd didn’t wane in any way. It was exciting seeing people screaming lyrics and hootin’ and hollerin’ post pandemic. Other shows in this genre that I’ve seen have a tendency to be more on the subdued side and that’s something I can’t emphasize enough. While they play folk music, the energy that they display on stage is unparalleled to anyone else in their genre. 

One of the largest reasons I got into Caamp was Taylor’s haunting vocals that stick with you even after the song is over. It stands out from so many other people right now, but hearing it live was an experience I will truly treasure. It sent chills down my spine when he started with their hit song“By and By”. I don’t want to shy away from how immensely talented this whole band is. Each instrument is integral to every song and can be heard especially when live. One of the standouts for me was when their bassist pulled out his stand up bass which just adds that *chef’s kiss* to folk music as a whole, but in particular with Caamp. 

A stand out moment for me was when Taylor came out for the encore to sing “Strawberries”. He requested that the audience lived in that moment, no phones, no cameras, just a spotlight on him and this beautiful song. I love when bands request that for certain songs, it adds a certain weight that can’t be matched. It adds such a special moment to an already special show. And then ended with “Officer of Love”, which was a fun way to cap off the night. 

The Verdict

Caamp is pretty popular, I know this now, but that doesn’t detract from the homeyness that you hear in their recordings. The whole show felt personal and emotional in all the best ways. Something that I hope they never lose. They put on one hell of a show that I won’t forget anytime soon. Come back soon Caamp, because if you don’t I’m going to have to meet you in Idaho. 

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