I don’t get to enough Live shows each year. I wish I could get to more, but when I do get to attend it is always worth the time and money. Seeing your favorite band is always the best thing ever. There is nothing like hearing your favorite songs live as they are always a little different than the studio album and a good band can make them even better. Thankfully Needtobreathe is a good band…hell…they are a great band.
If you follow my site, you know Def Leppard and Kiss are two of my favorites. Needtobreathe is right up there with them for me. I have every album on vinyl and I have now seen them live 3 times (which isn’t a lot, but I don’t usually see too many bands more than once).
Let’s get to the adventure of the show. My wife decided she would attend the show with me this time as my daughter doesn’t really know the band and she had no interest. My wife knows they are one of my favorite bands so she thought it would be a fun night and a good chance for us to have a date night…no kids!!! She even made a playlist on her phone so she could familiarize herself with the band.
I get home from work that night and I can see something is off with my wife when I get home. I asked her if she was okay and she lied and told me she was fine, but I knew something was off. I gave her the opportunity to back out and that I would either go alone or drag my oldest daughter. My wife toughed it out and went as she didn’t want to disappoint me. It turns out she felt she was getting a kidney stone and if you have had one you know how painful that is. I will let you know by the end of the night she was feeling fine and even started enjoying herself.
We get to the show and I grabbed some ponchos as there was a chance for rain that evening. And why would I need ponchos, well the show was outside at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre. There would be no cover.
We arrived into the arena right at 7pm when the opening act was kicking off. The opening act was Canada’s own Billy Raffoul. He hails from Leamington, Ontario but I think he lives here in the states now. He was fantastic. His vocal styling is that of a Jeff Buckley or even a little Neil Young, but more Buckley. I am going to do a separate post on him as there is a little story there.
It must be hard being unknown and an opening act because people are still coming in and not really paying attention. Now by the end, more people were listening, but what is frustrating is that people were there socializing and not even giving the kid a chance. He was killing it up there. However, most people couldn’t recognize talent if it slapped them in the face and let me tell you he was slapping them pretty hard.
The next act up was JohnnySwim. It is another act I wasn’t familiar with. A lot of people that were there were familiar with them. They are a husband and wife duo that are a little folk, soul, blues and pop. I had seen them on an episode of Fixer Upper as Joanna Gaines hired them to play Chip’s 40th Birthday party. I wish I had that kind of money. My 50th is coming up can someone get Needtobreathe or Def Leppard to play mine????
I wasn’t really into them until towards the end of their set. They came out into the crowd and set up shop a few rows behind us. The jammed for a little while and then seeing them up close I started to feel the vibe they were putting off and something changed I started digging what they were selling.
Is this what they mean by backstage access??
The chemistry between the two was actually great (which is a good thing since they are married). They played nicely off each other, they were funny and dammit, they could sing. They were a cute and very talented couple. I couldn’t name one song they sang, but that didn’t matter as it was still an enjoyable set.
Now it did rain during their set and the ponchos came out and let me tell you it got hot under those little ponchos. At times the skies were pretty threatening, but it really only drizzled and no real torrential downpours…thankfully. When it first started raining, my wife turned and looked at me and said…wow this is fun!! Now understand what I said earlier and you will get her mindset. But by the end of the Johnnyswim set, she was starting to come around.
Then came Needtobreathe at about 9pm. And they came out with a bang. They kicked things off with “Devil’s Been Talkin'” and hardly ever slowed down the whole night. Since they played 23 songs that night I will not go through them all.
For those that don’t know Needtobreathe, let me tell you a little about them. They are an American rock band with flavors of southern rock, country, folk and pop all rolled into one. They hail from Seneca, South Carolina and their southern, Christian roots come shining through their music. The band consists of the following members…
- Bear Rinehart – lead vocals, guitar, harmonica
- Bo Rinehart – lead guitar, banjo, mandolin
- Seth Bolt – bass, mandolin, percussion
- Josh Lovelace – Hammond organ, piano, saxophone, harmonica
They played fast, loud and the crowd never sat down even during an acoustic set (ok, some people did sit down, but sure as hell not me). I was rocking out the whole time although most of it was offbeat as I have no rhythm. The band has been together for 15 years and they were tight. They didn’t miss a beat and some of the songs sounded as good or even better than the album version.
One of mine and my wife’s favorite songs is a ballad called “Clear”. I did a My Sunday Song post exactly one year ago to the day (August 21st, 2017) and dedicated that post to my wife. She texted me that fact in the morning so it was a nice coincidence we were seeing them that evening one year later. We never thought they would play that song, but they did. We had a nice little dance during the song (more of a rocking back and forth hug, but you get the idea).
The band pulled out all the stops. During “Money & Fame”, Josh got out from behind the organ and whipped out the Sax. During “Great Night”, the crowd was jumping up and down, hands in the air and Bear started walking through the crowd with the band on stage jamming. It was a highlight for me as I am usually pretty mild mannered, but it got me moving and jumping.
Bear disappeared from the stage and Bo lead the band in a rendition of “Bossa Nova Baby” (Elvis Cover). It was unexpected, weird and awesome at the same time. Then Bear returned as the stage went dark and then down from the ceiling he came wearing a sparkly Mirror Ball type jacket that shined throughout the arena. They performed “Difference Maker” and WOW!! how moving it was. You need to check out the lyrics to understand why. But that light to me was symbolic of God’s light.
The band did an acoustic set and played 4 songs including a cover of “House of the Rising Sun”. They have an acoustic album coming out this fall from an acoustic tour they did several months back. And yes, I have already ordered it on vinyl!
Before the encore, Johnnyswim came back out and sang “Forever On Your Side” which they recorded with Needtobreathe for the band’s latest E.P. which the boys were touring for right now. It was a nice way to end the show before the encore.
And I tried to get artsy with my picture taking as I noticed that as Bear was singing, the light was causing a shadow on the wall with the building next to the stage so I attempted a picture.
The band came back and did two songs for the encore, “Brother” and “Drive All Night” and when they ended I was saddened as I didn’t want the night to end. The guys killed it that night and I think everyone had a great time. My wife included. The rain held off for the most part, the temperature cooled down and it was a fabulous evening! The only bad news was I had to get up and go to work the next morning. If you ever get a chance, you have to check them out.
If you are interested, here is the set list:
- Devil’s Been Talkin’
- Hard Love
- State I’m In
- The Outsiders
- Let’s Stay Home Tonight
- Don’t Bring That Trouble
- White Fences
- Something Beautiful
- Money & Fame
- Great Night
- Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now
- Bossa Nova
- Difference Maker
- No Excuses (Acoustic)
- House of the Rising Sun (Acoustic)
- Darling (Acoustic)
- Testify (Acoustic)
- Lay ‘Em Down
- Forever on Your Side
- Brother (Encore)
- Drive All Night (Encore)