The Band Camino Shares an Electric Reunion With Their Home City Before Setting Off on a Headline Tour

Claire Gruen

“We’ve got hands and hearts and noses, so stop and smell the fucking roses!” the crowd roared as Jeffrey Jordan, co-lead singer and guitarist of The Band Camino (TBC), pointed his microphone at the rows of fans crammed into The Orpheum Theatre on Friday, February 25th. 

Nearly 2,500 eager concert-goers clad in cowboy hats and band t-shirts anxiously awaited the start of TBC’s first hometown show in years, lining the seats of the historic “bucket list venue” (as Jordan described it during the show), that’s positioned on the corner of South Main and Beale Street. The energy in the room was palpable, and the floor of the lobby outside reverberated with every beat from the set of the opening act, The Wldlfe.

Coming out of a city known almost exclusively for blues, The Band Camino is a bold indie pop/rock act that has been climbing their way to national recognition since 2015, when they formed at the University of Memphis. While Spencer Stewart and Jeffrey Jordanwho share lead vocals and guitarare the only two members from the original quartet remaining, their bond with drummer Garrison Burgess shined onstage. Each song was seamless, and it was evident that the trio has been performing together for many years.

Despite their self-titled debut album being released on September 10, 2021, TBC’s Memphis set began with the first track from their 2019 EP “tryhard,” a powerful and guitar-heavy song called “What I Want.” From there, the show was a combination of older songs like “2/14” and “My Thoughts on You,” songs from “tryhard” such as “See Through” and “Haunted,” and tracks from their new album, namely “Roses” and “1 Last Cigarette.” Whether the songs were from the band’s early days or being played live for only the second or third time, the common thread throughout all eighteen tracks was Stewart’s, Jordan’s, and Burgess’s energy onstage.

Stewart donned a fuzzy pink cowboy hat and took center stage during his solo song, “I Think I Like You,” charming the entire theater with his high notes and casual dance moves. During the final song, “Daphne Blue,” Jordan traded his green trucker hat for a sparkly red cowboy hat that a fan threw onstage and hopped on top of a speaker, raising his arms above his head to get the audience clapping. He and Stewart leaned against each other for intense guitar duets multiple times throughout the concert, and Burgess dramatically tossed his drumsticks into the crowd during the bows at the end of the show.

Between balancing synth, guitar, and vocals, Jordan and Stewart still found time to talk with the audience throughout the show. They recounted their Memphis origin and explained how this show was the last one they were doing before embarking on their first headline tour in over two years. Jordan revealed that certain things the band has been doing for a long time, like opening with “What I Want,” will change on the tour, which will focus more on the new album. This hometown show was not just a return to the band’s roots, but a goodbye to the layout of this setlist and show specifically. That message transferred loud and clear to the audience, who sang their hearts out to every trackeven the ones released seven years ago.

Not many people thrived over the past two years, and especially not small indie bands like TBC. Having to take years off of touring and being unable to do any promotion for new music presented interesting challenges for musicians everywhere. Watching the way The Band Camino lit up the Orpheum Theatre on Friday night, though, was a display of resilience and spirit that proved the band came out of the pandemic stronger—and more prepared for the future—than ever.