I am so glad to be back to live shows and one of the first shows back is Needtobreathe who are one of my favorite bands of all time. Yes, last week I saw Ace Frehley and Alice Cooper which were both spectacular, but this is Needtobreathe. And being my fourth or fifth time seeing them, they did not disappoint as usual. The played for over 2 hours and right up to curfew at the venue and were ready to finish even if they turned off the power because when Needtobreathe (NTB) come to play, they come to play. They are going to give you all of themselves until the a ready to drop and that is exactly what they did.
The band makes a grand entrance with portraits of themselves on the screen and as each member walks out Tyler Burkum on guitar, Randall Harris on drums, Josh Lovelace on keyboards, Seth Bolt on bass and Bear Rineheart on vocals the roar of the crowd grew louder and louder and then the band kicked in to “Alive” and the band was rocking the place down with so much and energy and power. And then when the went in to the song “Great Night”, you knew it was going to be just that.
For me, it was one classic song after another. You get the driving force of “Drive All Night” and then the rebellious “The Outsiders” which I did video the song for my wife as she was sidelined with a migraine and she wanted me to capture some of it for her so I did. At this point, Bear finally took a breathe between songs and then spoke to us for a brief moment before going in to the church revival feel of “Washed By The Water” which ended with parts of their song “Lay ‘Em Down”. It was like going to church.
At this point, the band showed a movie trailer. Yep, a movie trailer. On November 3rd, for one night only, movie theaters will show the documentary ‘Into the Mystery’ which is about the band and the making of their new album during covid. The band quarantined together in a house for three weeks and recorded the album. They said what would normally take them 3 years, they did in 3 weeks. And after the trailer, they played two great songs from their new album. The first was “Sunshine” and the second was “Into the Mystery” which actually included an opening of “Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty first.
They played a few more songs before they took another break and showed a different video. This one was about the charity they work with called For Others which works with a lot of charities in your own city (Charlotte in this case for me) and NTB asked for anyone that could to please donate. So while they played “Multiplied” and “Difference Maker” you could text the number below that they shown on the screen. They were told that it would never work and people wouldn’t do it, but the band had raised over $500,000 on the tour from the fans for the charities and as I said the money stays in the community in the town they played. Something you wouldn’t expect at a show, but cool nonetheless.
After that, the band did some acoustical numbers with the song “Banks” which happened to have a couple in the front row get engaged during the show. Their names were Ashley and Jeremy as the band saw it happened and commented on it. Bear said that after getting engagements, there can be an awkardness but not for those two as they started making out immediately after. The next song “Carry Me” had a special guest. Jon Foreman from Switchfoot came out and sang with Bear and the Band. It was cool how a NTB Tour was like a family event and this wouldn’t be the last time someone came out and sang with them.
The show then kicked back in to gear with the heavier, more upbeat tracks such as “Hang On”, “Hard Love” and “Ridiing High” which got the energy going again and everyone having a good time. If that wasn’t enough on the next song, “Honky Tonk Women” the mic was turned over to the drummer, Randall Harris, who got the crowd in to a wild frenzy as everyone loved the Stone Cover. It was wild time where each band member got up and did a little something to be highlighted. Lots of fun.
After that wild time, the band played one of my all time favorite tracks, “Who Am I” and followed it up with “I Am Yours” which I found rather funny as the titles work well together. Then we get to the final song before the encores and this time the whole family was there. Switchfoot and The New Respects all came out for a wild jam session on the song “When the Levee Breaks”. It was a hell of a good time with so much to look at and let me just show you…
Then we get to the Encore as the crowd were banging the backs of the plastic chairs to make as much noise as they could. The band came out and played “Midnight Special” mixed with “Mercy’s Shore”. They then played a song for the first time on this current tour. Well, we are in North “Carolina” so they player their song “Oh Caroline” and the crowd went nuts. It is a fun song to be played live as it really gets the crowd singing along. As we are now coming up on 11pm and the event curfew, the band was worried they wouldn’t finish and said they will keep singing and playing even if they turn off the sound. They played one of their biggest songs, “Brother” with full crowd participation. What a feeling that must be to have the crowd sing back your song. Luckily the sound was never turned off and the band finished the song with a quick goodnight and over 2 hours of playing and 23 songs. It was another magical night with Needtobreathe.
Here is the setlist…
- Great Night
- Drive All Night
- Washed by the Water / Lay ‘Em Down
- Into the Mystery (Free Fallin’ opening)
- Forever On Your Side
- Keep Your Eyes Open / Testify
- Something Beautiful
- Multiplied / Difference Maker
- Carry Me (w/ Jon Foreman)
- Hang On
- Hard Love
- Riding High
- Honky Tonk Woman (The Rolling Stones Cover w/ the drummer singing)
- Who Am I
- I Am Yours
- When the Levee Breaks (Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe McCoy Cover with Switchfoot and The New Respects)
- Midnight Special / Mercy’s Shore – Encore
- Oh, Caroline (first time played on tour) – Encore
- Brother – Encore
And did I get some Merch? Yep, I finally bought my first NTB Concert Shirt. I don’t know why I hadn’t before…probably too cheap.
And I took a bunch of pictures so here are a few more to take you out. Thanks for hanging around…
Okay, I’ll leave at that…thanks again for stopping by.