In front of heavy beats and a spartan stage graced only with a few lone microphone stands and a table reserved for the ubiquitous laptop, five rappers filled the remaining empty space with their quick-fire poetry. In the words of one of the headliners, Killer Mike, this was church. So we paid attention and exalted.
It's pretty much impossible to pigeonhole New Orleans-based band the Revivalists into any one genre, because their music is truly a fusion -- a delicious mix of rock, soul, funk and jazz with a dash of reggae and even hip-hop thrown in.
Since 1995 Milagro Saints have made southwestern-tinged, alt-rock jams. Not the obvious choice for a band started in New York City, based in Raleigh, N.C., and fronted by a British expat, but it works.