Three songs deep, Nathaniel Rateliff began urging the capacity Red Rocks Amphitheatre crowd to lay their midweek worries aside and party with him on a Wednesday night. His rhetorical question was met with an enthusiastic roar as the collective energy of ten thousand people rolled down the storied venue’s steps and flooded the stage with positive vibes. And party they did.
In fact, the party had started earlier with Delta Spirit. The San Diego-based, American Rock band touring on their fifth album What is There charged everybody up with driving beats, dreamy guitar rifts, and soaring vocals. Favorites like California and Bushwick Blues turned up the energy while horn support from the Night Sweats ensured that things got off to an enthusiastic start.
By the time a familiar hat appeared out of fog to join the fabled Night Sweats on stage, the crowd was ready to blow. Capping off a three-night run at Red Rocks, you’d think Nathaniel Rateliff may have been a little low on gas. But after a record five-night run at the venue in 2020 that could only host 175 fans a night, the collective three-night crowd of 28,000 clearly kept Rateliff’s tank filled to the brim.
Under a slightly cloudy sky and waning yellow moon, Nathaniel Rateliff toe-tapped and boot-strutted his way around the stage for an absolutely electric set and encore. The band tempered raucous renditions of songs like Howlin’ at Nothing, S.O.B., and I Need Never Get Old with slow-tempo faves Hey Mama and Wasting Time along with a few unreleased songs from the group’s upcoming fourth album, The Future, dropping November 5th. If last night’s show was a sign of what’s to come, this album is going to be another Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats gem: rough, polished, and perfect all at the same time.