Last night, Nathaniel David Rateliff of Hermann, Missouri, and his band The Night Sweats, delivered an impressive set at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver.
Going into the show I was worried that many of those in attendance would only be familiar with the foot-stomping, stress-release-aid hit S.O.B. I mean it is a powerful and fun song, that is getting a ton of play recently. So I wondered, “Would the band come out to a room full of attendees staring in confusion until S.O.B. was played?” Time would tell.
Starting things off were the Denver-based sextuplet known as Paper Bird. I had never heard them previous to last night, but within the first song I was intrigued. The 3-way female vocals mixed with the sweet indie folk sound filled the venue with a captivating energy. In turns, the three lead vocalist, Sarah Anderson, Carleigh Aikins, and Genevieve Patterson, took on solos throughout each song. From tender bits of creamy smooth soul to pitch perfect note navigation to a few transcendent moments when Ms. Aikins channelled sultry Joplin’esque tonnes, they had the whole room in the palm of their hand. After the set, I briefly spoke with Genevieve at the merch booth and asked if they had any plans to tour. She mentioned that after the release of their upcoming album they should be hitting the road. Let’s hope we get a show in Vancouver.
There was enough time between sets to replenish my beverage and catch up with a few familiar faces.
The headlining band populated the stage and the audience welcomed them with a raucous cheer.
As the band delved into their set the crowd was immediately engaged. Heads were bobbing, toes were tapping, and lovers were dancing.
It is refreshing to see artists playing true grit R&B and getting the attention of the mainstream. As I looked around the venue, I saw many people singing along to every song. I was thankful that the majority of people weren’t there solely for S.O.B. My concerns were for not.
Every musician on that stage was having a great time; grinning from ear to ear and pouring themselves into their performance.
Every one of them was giving it their all, in the name of the music and the spirit.
The sound of footwear banging off the polished wooden floor acted as an additional beat.
The performance was mighty but never lost it’s fun feel. By the end of the set, the band members were each dripping with sweat and grinning bigger than ever before. The pride in what they do is evident and it communicated so well last night. Some people might take a stance that this band is on the up swing because the market is bubbling up with a desire for classic roots R&B. People like Leon Bridges and St.Paul & The Broken Bones are becoming household names. I would argue that this isn’t a blip on the map. I would argue that this is true musicians delivering real music, because people are tired of over-polished turds and ready to experience the truth. Well Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats are as true and real as it gets, if you are ready for them they are here to deliver you to the promised land.