Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats toured so heavily in 2015 and 2016 that much of it was just a blur of cities, flights, and bright lights. But weariness be damned.
When the group hit the one-year anniversary of their self-titled debut in mid-August of 2016 with a sold-out homecoming show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, they were chiseled like prizefighters — tough as nails, and playing at the absolute top of their energetic, denim-clad “International Dickweed” game.
With a sultry heaping of horns and a guest appearance by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Rateliff and the Night Sweats saunter into the set with “Failing Dirge,” quite possibly the most impassioned death-march ever performed, and proceed over the next 18 songs to tease, entice and get down and dirty with their Denver brethren. That raucous, over-the-top introduction is ironically one of the most subdued parts of the recording which proves to be a straight shot of adrenaline to the heart of a live album.
The set, of course, highlights tracks from their officially certified Gold retro-R&B debut, including performances of “I Need Never Get Old,” “Look It Here,” “Shake,” “Howling at Nothing,” “Wasting Time” and, most certainly, their Gold-certified hit single “S.O.B.” [The Stax Records release has also earned global certifications in Canada (Platinum album + single), the U.K. (Silver album), Switzerland (Gold album + single), and Belgium (Gold album).]
This incendiary live set culminates with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band joining The Night Sweats to perform “S.O.B.” before finishing with Sam Cooke’s classic “Having a Party,” as the second-line paraded with band in tow right out of the famed venue.
Rateliff and company are currently back in the studio and have a new record due in 2018.