Nathaniel Rateliff leads a the Night Sweats in a performance at The Anthem on Oct. 17, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)
As treacherous as they might be, the unique challenges musicians face on the road today can’t keep the most sturdy and strong-willed artists off the stage.
Rebounding from a COVID-caused cancellation of their show scheduled back on Sept. 21, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats filled The Anthem in DC on Oct. 17 in an anticipated redemption for the many ticketholders in the DMV and beyond who’d been looking forward to an evening with this good-natured and enduring singer-songwriter and his squad of tireless, merry musicians.
More than just a night of atonement, this electrifying and exhilarating group — formed by Rateliff in 2013 as an R&B side project and now one of the most acclaimed acts in live music — would host an unforgettable night of song and celebration in the capital’s most cutting-edge venue, led by one of the most winsome and enduring singer-songwriters in Mr. Rateliff himself.
And even the canceled show last month couldn’t have detracted from the momentum this band had coming out of the summer, including a high-profile appearance at the Newport Folk Festival where they presented a special set called American Tune Revue to honor the music of the great Paul Simon. Simon would eventually join them on stage — another incredible achievement for this group that has its roots in Denver, where Rateliff formed several different outfits before this one took off in the summer of 2015 following its first self-titled release.
Only growing in popularity, playing festival after festival and forming a large network of friends along the way, Rateliff and his mates evolved from being staples of the Denver and Boulder music scene to an internationally known act with a reputation for blowing the roof off any venue they play, characterized by high energy, a sassy three-piece brass section and Rateliff’s fervor and honesty at the mic.
Riding the momentum of the band’s 2021 album The Future, as well as the acclaim of Nate’s 2020 solo album And It’s Still Alright, Rateliff and the Night Sweats certainly needed to reacquaint a DMV audience it hadn’t seen in a few years due to earlier shows cancelations during the pandemic.
Listen to Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweat’s 2020 studio album, The Future, via Spotify:
“But COVID be damned,” Rateliff told a packed and spirited Anthem on a Monday night as he fronted what was a terrific performance by a squad that continues its ascension as one of the most loved and played bands in America.
Making the night that much more rewarding, the opening act wasn’t just any group, but one Rateliff and his mates consider close and longtime friends in Hiss Golden Messenger. The Durham-based folk-rock project of MC Taylor, who’s considered one of the most thoughtful and influential songwriters of the last decade, this group has recently headlined local venues and local festivals as well, and the group’s opening set made for a night plentiful in distinct, compelling songs.
Stream Hiss Golden Messenger’s 2021 studio album, Quietly Blowing It, via Spotify:
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats Setlist
I’ve Been Failing
Look It Here
You Worry Me
I’ll Be Damned
Baby I Lost My Way (But I’m Going Home)
So Put Out
A Little Honey
Love Me Till I’m Gone
Horn section jam
Face Down In The Moment
And It’s Still Alright (Nathaniel Rateliff song)
Out on the Weekend
I Need Never Get Old
Hiss Golden Messenger Setlist
I’ve Got a Name For the Newborn Child
Lost Out In The Darkness
Bright Direction (You’re A Dark Star Now)
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
Hiss Golden Messenger