Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats rocked The Stone Pony in Asbury Park for a sold out show this 4th of July weekend. The Future Tour, in support of their third studio album, kicked off in May and runs through late September. As the rain held out, the sky broke into glorious shades of reds and blues, when the band took the stage. Rateliff and the band were in fantastic form— never losing their octane-level energy— or raw and powerful vocals. With a worldly fusion of blues, rock, folk, and soul (not unlike Van Morrison who they’ve covered in the documentary The Last Waltz), they were their own force of nature— rocking the house from start to finish. From the soft horn timbres of songs like You Worry Me and Face Down in the Moment… building up to the raucous, bone shattering tracks like S.O.B., The Night Sweats covered it all.
One highlight was when Rateliff departed from his standard setlist this tour to treat everyone to the Springsteen cover Atlantic City; the crowd collectively roared like wild. Doing Jersey proud with an absolutely stellar, emphatic rendition, everyone screamed the lyrics in unison and erupted into thunderous cheers, electrified by long “BRUCE!” chants. While much of the audience was speculating whether or not The Boss would make a special appearance (as he famously does from time to time), Rateliff, again, did not disappoint when he introduced Bruce’s legendary photographer Danny Clinch to play with him on stage. In celebration of a spectacularly high-energy night, Rateliff launched his guitar into the air, across the stage (twice in fact), and the sound tech skillfully caught the flying Fender Telecaster before it took out any equipment. Asbury had come to a rock show!
The band did not miss with the encore, either, as they rolled into The Future— the laid-back Dylanesque tune, followed by S.O.B.—the massive hit which throws a little steroid-injected gospel flavor into the mix of soul rock, amping up to a fever-pitch revelry.
Following the concert, Nathaniel Rateliff and a couple band members went to the Transparent Clinch Gallery on 210 Fifth Ave. for a second (acoustic and intimate) surprise encore, again jamming to the Springsteen cover Atlantic City in a stripped down version for the E Street Radio special broadcast.
Danny Clinch (who’s worked with the greats— everyone from Tupac to the Foo Fighters) tweeted about the guest appearance and posted one of his amazing photographs of the band here.
In a press release for The Future, Rateliff said, “I look at the album overall as a big question. When I was writing the record we were in the middle of a pandemic and our future looked pretty bleak. I just continue to try to write from a place of hope.”
The Future LP was recorded at Rateliff’s Broken Creek Studio outside Denver and was produced by Bradley Cook and R.M.B. (Rateliff, Meese, and Barone) who were behind Rateliff’s acclaimed solo project And It’s Still Alright. The Night Sweats are Nathaniel Rateliff (vocals, guitar), Joseph Pope III (bass), Patrick Meese (drums, percussion, keys), Luke Mossman (guitar), Mark Shusterman (organ, keys), Andreas Wild (saxophone), Daniel Hardaway (trumpet) and Jeff Dazey (saxophone).
After finishing up both European and North American legs, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats are about to launch their Canadian leg of the Future Tour, before circling back to North America for a second round, hitting NY on 9/15 at Radio City Music Hall, and coming back to NJ on 9/17 for the Xponential Music Festival in Camden. Complete tour dates, merch, and music can be found on their official site.
Photos & Review by Jennifer Petrics