Photo Credit: Wendy Hu
From the moment NEEDTOBREATHE took the stage at Irving Plaza November 5, it was evident that this wasn’t just any concert. The South Carolina natives have been honing their live show for the past 10 years and Friday night was no exception. Fans came out in flocks to see them and they didn’t disappoint.
As smoke engulfed the stage and guitar fuzz and percussion were heard in the background, NEEDTOBREATHE took the stage to screams. The band kicked off their set with the energetic “Prisoner.” With an impeccable electric guitar interlude mid-song and frontman Bear Rinehart teetering close to the edge of the stage, the band kept the audience on it’s feet. Not a complete deviation from their album, NEEDTOBREATHE proved their live show is like none other. While “Prisoner” neared eight minutes with instrumental features and improvisation, the band managed to keep things fresh and continually showcased their musicality.
“Thank you all for being here. It means a lot to us. We appreciate it very, very much,” Bear said before they performed “More Time” off their album Heat to excited fans who sang along word for word. With an instrumental breakdown and foot stomping rhythm mid-song the band impressed.
NEEDTOBREATHE has been working on a new record much to their fans delight and they debuted a track off their upcoming release called “Devil’s Been Talking.” With a memorable banjo intro, soaring guitars and powerful percussion, the song is only an introduction of what’s to come. While concertgoers no doubt enjoyed hearing new tracks, it was songs from their most recent album, The Outsiders, that received the loudest screams.
“Girl Named Tennessee” livened up the venue with funky guitar accompaniment and hand clapped rhythms. The floor shook as fans stomped along during the song’s entirety. Showcasing their ability to switch gears, moving ballad “Stones Under Rushing Water” slowed things down with light guitar and percussion combined with Bear’s relentless vocals. As the music lessened to the fadeout of the track, Bear sounded like a gospel singer as his voice reverberated throughout the venue.
The piano infused “Washed By the Water” followed suit before Bear once again thanked the audience for attending the show. “We’ve been together for 10 years and it means everything to us that you show up.”
After NEEDTOBREATHE performed for just over an hour they left the stage. But, not for long. As fans chanted “NEEDTOBREATHE,” the quintet came back out for a two-song encore, which included a jaw-dropping acapella version of “Valley of Tomorrow” to the hushed crowd. (Watch below!) NEEDTOBREATHE closed their impressive set with “The Outsiders,” to a sing-along. A testament to how far they’ve come, after 10 years NEEDTOBREATHE show no signs of slowing down.
Watch NEEDTOBREATHE perform “Valley of Tomorrow” acoustic below and for my interview with them, click here.