Needtobreathe (Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson)
Needtobreathe passionately played an electric and eclectic set at 9:30 Club in a sold-out show Thursday, Oct. 5, in a long show that thrilled their audience and strengthened the bond between the performers and their fans.
Needtobreathe began their show with Hard Love track “Don’t Bring That Trouble,” and the band soon played “Money & Fame,” “No Excuses,” “Hard Love,” and other tracks from their sixth studio album, originally released in July 2016 via Atlantic Records. Needtobreathe (also abbreviated NTB) toured to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Hard Love, which they reissued in a deluxe edition this year.
Known by many as a Christian band, NTB really seem to have reached a wider audience. There are certainly Christian themes in their songs, but it is not necessarily worship music.
Still, there was an emotional connection between NTB and the fans. They played songs ranging from old to new and everyone sang along and moved to the music. The band payed tribute to Tom Petty by playing “You Wreck Me” and recommended his album Wildflowers to the audience, stating that they listen to it every time they are making music. They also later covered “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King.
NTB consists of brothers Bear (lead vocals, guitar, and piano) and Bo (backing vocals and guitar) Rinehart, Seth Bolt (bass, backing vocals), and Josh Lovelace (backing vocals, keys). Touring drummer Randall Harris was also there, along with an additional guitarist.
Bear spoke of the “difficult times” we are living in but hesitated to make any sort of political statement. He did say that the band is there to be a distraction from it all, a statement that everyone in the audience seemed to appreciate.
Spirits were high throughout the show, particularly during the fun encore. Bear came out from the back of the crowd wearing a disco ball jacket and stood in the middle of the audience to sing. This was not only an intimate touch but also aesthetically enjoyable.
The band finished the evening playing “Cages,” a long-time crowd favorite that was only recently recorded and released on the Hard Love deluxe edition. After playing a pretty heavy rock n’ roll show, it was interesting to see the band finish with an acoustic track. They stated that it really summed up the band — and the song definitely seems to be near and dear to their hearts. It was a brilliant way to finish the evening.
This was a great performance, and I could go on and on. Instead, mark Dec. 2 on your calendars. NTB return to DC to play an acoustic show at the Lincoln Theatre on that day in a second leg of their tour. That show is already sold out, but perhaps catch them nearby or find a friend with an extra ticket?
In the meantime, check out some of their music below.