Hot damn! Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats put on a show. You know the gents from their smash hit “S.O.B.” where they manage to sing “son of a bitch” in the most spirited, dance-inducing way possible.
A Trans-Pecos Festival 2016 headliner, the septet turned the energy up to eleven the moment they stepped on stage.
Opening with “I Need Never Get Old,” the band seemed to echo what everyone at El Cosmico was feeling in that moment. At this festival of “Music + Love” everyone is young at heart, and age truly is just a number. Here “kids” ages 6 to 66 run wild and free for one weekend.
And run wild they did during NRTNS’ set. Things really heated up when the band launched into “Look It Here,” “Howling At The Moon” and “Shake.” Frontman Nathaniel Rateliff poured his heart, soul, and yes, sweat into each song, lurching forward as he sang into the mic, and conversely bending backwards, arms raised in the air.
It quickly became clear that Rateliff was leading the crowd on a spiritual voyage by way of his impassioned rhythm and blues.
SON OF A
Of course the band saved “S.O.B.” for last and it was well worth the wait.
Standing in front of the stage, Rateliff sang into the crowd. He was a preacher leading the choir, as everyone clapped, raised their arms, and echoed his words back to him. At one point Rateliff knelt down and sang softly, motioning for everybody to follow suit. With a brief pause, followed by an explosion of sound and energy, the band and the audience erupted back onto their feet.
Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats closed out the set with all of El Cosmico singing, dancing, and sweating right alongside them, spirits lifted as high as they could get.
May we always remember these moments and may we indeed, never need get old.
All photos by Lauren Slusher of Bonnie and Lauren Photography