I swear from now on I am going to make plans in advance of a concert! I won tickets on Radio Nova tonight for the NeedToBreathe gig in The Academy. Tickets for the gig were priced at €16 (including booking fee). After racing into Abbey Street I arrived just as they walked on stage. Although I did miss out on the support act.
NeedToBreathe played a sold out show in Academy 2 only a few months ago. Tonight they return to the slightly bigger venue upstairs. Again playing to a sold out crowd. I will admit that before tonight I did not know that much of their songs. That did not stop me from really really enjoying the night though!
For those of you that have never heard of them before NeedToBreathe are an American rock band from South Carolina. With four albums under their belt to date they are very accomplished in America and regularly sell out arenas far bigger than the Academy. It’s very rare that we get the opportunity to see a band of this caliber in a venue so intimate for such a small price. The band is made up of Bear Rinehart, Bo Rineheart, Seth Bolt and touring members Josh Lovelace and Randall Harris.
Despite having a relatively small capacity the crowd in the Academy is one of the best I have ever been a part of. From the second the band arrive on stage everyone is obsessed with the 5 guys in front of them. The set list is full of really great songs. ‘The Outsider’ (which includes a BANJO solo of all things), ‘Keep Your Eyes Open’ (video below) and ‘More Time’ really stand out.
Half way through the lead singer Bear Rineheart slows the fast moving set down to talk to the crowd. He tell us that the Dublin gig is their last one of the year and asks us to forgive them if the night seems ‘a little self indulgent’ as they just want to ‘enjoy themselves’. One of the best reactions of the night comes when guitarist Bo Rinehart bursts into a cover of Johnny Cash’s song ‘Folsom Prison Blues’.
With their set over the band leave the stage and of course arrive back on 2 minutes later. Usually I am very negative about encores but this one was different. Bear walks on stage alone with just his guitar and after talking to the crowd briefly he asks for silence and starts to play ‘Difference Maker’. I know it is very cliché and lazy for a reviewer to say that the entire crowd was silent but there is no other way to describe it. The only noise that could be heard was the humming of the fridges behind the bar. Half way through the 6minute ballad the rest of the band joins him on stage. Five men, two guitars and one microphone make for a really special moment. For me the highlight of the night came when they all stepped away from the microphone and delivered the last chorus acapella with just the faint guitar to accompany them. The combined strength of their voices easily fills the room and I got that feeling that they could easily fill one twice the size.
The set in total is about 90minutes. I only have one problem with the night and that is that I wish I had known their songs more so I could enjoy the night as much as every body else in the crowd did! I will defiantly have my tickets in advance the next time these guys come to to town.
Huge thanks to Radio Nova for the tickets. From now on I am going to be prepared I promise!
For more information on NeedToBreathe have a look at their website.