Can we cut to the chase? Nathaniel Rateliff has always had a hell of a voice, right from the start. He’s just become far better at showing it off. In a few short years, he’s gone from being a quiet singer-songwriter type opening for the likes of The Lumineers and Dr. Dog to headlining his own incredible shows with The Night Sweats.
Thank some lucky stars that happened. Nathaniel did right to flip that switch. When he did, a showman was born, one wearing more denim and turquoise jewelry than anyone else anywhere in the world. It allowed him to peel back some layers and turn his volume up. There are horns. There is twinkle toed dancing. There are handclaps and tambourines, unforced smiles and lots of howling at the moon.
A Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats performance is not a concert. It’s a straight up revival.
Here’s a memory: I leaned hard on the Universe and her good graces to allow me to see him do his thing at The Orange Peel in Asheville. He’d already appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and that led to this show (and most others) to immediately sell out. I had no ticket. I didn’t necessarily expect to get one either, but I hoped. I’m awfully good at hoping.
Long story short, the Universe had her ears on. Some beauty of a woman walked right up to me and gave me her extra ticket for free. I responded as I should have: I nearly leapt out of my skin and gave her a bear hug, probably at the same time. I did my share of sweaty singing and dancing along with Nathaniel and his band that night. I had a smile stuck on my face for a few days to prove it.
It’s all too rare when things fall together exactly as you hope they will.
He doesn’t get over here very often, folks. If you want to witness the special kind of magic that only Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats bring, waste no time getting yourselves to St. Augustine on April 26. Find me before “S.O.B.” starts and we’ll scream sing the chorus together. It’s only right.
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats Preview by Dainon. Edited by Richie.
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