Nathaniel Rateliff never fails to impress. Whether playing solo or with his band, The Night Sweats, the Denver native is bound to put on an amazing show. He did just that this weekend for a two-night run at the Ogden Theatre on his home turf for his annual holiday show, and Denver was more than happy to welcome him back.
Both nights of the concerts sold out extremely quickly, and it was evident that people were there to support a longtime local favorite who continues to grow (Rateliff was just recognized by Rolling Stone for having one of the best singles of the year).
As people packed in from the snowy, icy streets of Colfax Avenue, drinks began to pour and people started to get amped for the much anticipated show. Around 10:45 p.m., Rateliff and his six-piece band finally took the stage. For an excited crowd at a sold out show, the audience was surprisingly quiet, not wanting to miss a sound coming from the stage. Rateliff is pretty soft spoken, though its hard to believe when he’s belting out his songs on stage.
The first three songs, “I Never Get Old,” “Look It Here” and “I’ve Been Falling” started off slow, but as soon as the crowd started getting into it, it seemed as if Rateliff did as well. As the show went on, he showed more and more energy, the Rateliff we all know and love.
It’s amazing to see Rateliff’s progression from the tinier venues in Denver like the Hi-Dive, The Bluebird Theater and The Gothic Theater to back-to-back sold out shows at The Ogden. It was evident that he was happier to be there than the rest of the crowd was.
His music—an eclectic mix of blues, folk and rock and roll—is nothing like anything out there right now and Rateliff played amazing songs like “Mellow Out” and “Wasting Time,” before launching into the song everyone was waiting for. “S.O.B.”, which has been performed on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” and has become a surprise radio staple, started playing through the speakers, and the crowd ate it up.
His subtle hums to start the song were intimate, and it’s not too often when you get goose bumps from listening to a song. The crowd chanted, clapped and stomped their way through the song, which Rateliff made sure to perform for about 10 minutes so everyone could get their fix.
After “SOB” finished, an obvious encore was on the horizon, with Rateliff performing “What I Need” and “Having A Party.” Unfortunately the show had to end, even though Rateliff teased the crowd again and made everyone believe that “S.O.B.” was about to play again.
The show was a great way to kick off the holiday week. It brought a crowd of old, young and all shapes and sizes together to listen to great music. Rateliff is a musician that is different from everyone else, and it’s great to see a local artist become so successful in such a quick amount of time.
Rateliff announced this month that he would also be returning to the Mile High City to headline Red Rocks Amphitheater for the first time on Aug. 21.