Carolina natives NEEDTOBREATHE have a solid 10+ years creating and performing music, and their great songwriting and musical ability was on full display Friday. The band set off on a tour that stopped at The Anthem, and their six studio albums and years of performing were evident in the polished performance they delivered.
I’ve seen NEEDTOBREATHE before, but this time around, I was much more familiar with their music — and it gave me a whole new appreciation for their show. The band played a great selection of old and new songs, and included all the hits and songs that any fan would love to sing or dance along to. The group opened with “Devil’s Been Talkin'” from their 2011 album, The Reckoning. They then went right into one of their new hits, the optimistic title track from their 2016 album, Hard Love. From there, NEEDTOBREATHE went on to play a fantastic show, one that I wouldn’t have minded lasting another hour or so.
NEEDTOBREATHE offered the audience so much more than their musical talent. Their interaction with the fans was great. For a group that has received quite a bit of acclaim, including a Grammy in 2015, they were very much still all about the fans. While they played “Great Night,” an innocent, bluesy song about having a good time, lead singer Bear Rinehart waded into the crowd, going back and forth and into the heart of the audience. Later, his brother and lead guitarist Bo took the lead for a song with an exciting performance of Elvis Presley’s “Boss Nova Baby.” Bo went into the crowd as he performed and ended up giving his guitar to a fan. The lights went out soon after, and I wondered if maybe it was given back or retrieved by the roadies later on. I’m here to tell you that was not the case — my wife and I saw the fan in the parking garage later that night — guitar in hand and a glow about him that something that special will surely bring.
There were plenty of other great moments, including Bear’s performance of “Difference Maker,” in which he was elevated on a platform high above the stage and wearing what can only be described as a disco ball jacket. It’s something you have to see to really appreciate.
I left The Anthem feeling satisfied, and I got the sense that everyone else did as well. I can’t wait until these guys come back to this area. One thing that’s worth mentioning is that the band donated $1 from each ticket sale to OneWorld Health — a nonprofit dedicated to bringing sustainable healthcare to East Africa and Central America.They also encouraged the audience to give by offering an unreleased song if they donated additional money.
You can check out more about the bands efforts and partnership with One World Health by following the link below. In all the great music and fun, it’s easy to forget things like this. These guys are using their platform to do good in the world. That’s something that we need in this world now more than ever. NEEDTOBREATHE is touring into October so keep an eye out for them coming to a venue near you. In the meantime, check out some of their music below.