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Nathaniel Rateliff has been making music for over a decade but hasn’t had much national attention until this past year. With his newest album Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Rateliff has gone from being a small indie artist to being placed among the ranks of other world wide acclaimed folk bands like The Avert Brothers, Mumford and Sons, and Wilco. This is with all good reason since Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats is a contagiously fun album. Their hit single SOB has become a beloved party anthem to a broad range audience from Jimmy Fallon being in awe from the band’s performance on his late night talk show, to Stephen King’s (yes, the horror author) who tweeted out a link to the SOB music video and mentioned how he couldn’t listen to the song without dancing.
But does Rateliff and his band deliver an equal enjoyable live performance? The short answer: absolutely. This is one of the few bands that has earned the “must see if you haven’t already”phrase.
This past Saturday, October 1st, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats took the stages at the iconic Austin venue Stubbs. It was a sold out ACL afte- party — which is a C3 featured show that starts after the festival has concluded for the day. The Night Sweats took stage at 22:15. The guitars softly vamped the opening riff to “Never Get Old” for a minute. Then, the drums, bass, and keys started to help build a crescendo for several more measures until the horn section kicked in and Nathaniel walked onto the stage towards his mic. He strapped up his pale white telecaster, adjusted his hat, and began to sing the opening track.
The show never lost its momentum from the first beat onward, though there were noticeable waves of loud cheers when Rateliff — who is a big burly man that looks like he would own a brewery— would put down his guitar and start dancing while he sang. And he didn’t look silly when he danced. He was smooth. His feet glided on the floor like a ’70s Motown front man while swaying with the mic stand.
The setlist covered most of the self-titled album, and they threw in a new single from their upcoming EP. I unfortunately missed the title of that track, but take my word: it’s a solid new song that you’re going to be playing on repeat. The band wrapped up their show with “S.O.B.”, and just like Stephen King stated in his tweet, the crowd couldn’t help but dance to the song.
I’m hoping that there will be a Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats live album in the not so distance future. It will be a day one purchase.
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