Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats performed Thursday in front of a sold-out crowd at Madison’s newest venue, the Sylvee. The group from Colorado, comprised of frontman Nathaniel Rateliff and seven backing musicians, brought a fusion of funk, blues, and soulful R&B to their 20-song set.
The group emerged into the music scene in 2015, after finding great success with their debut album, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. The high octane energy found in their early work bleeds through again in their latest album but in a much punchier, and more developed way.
The absence of seating in the standing-only venue proved to be no problem for the 2,500 fans in attendance as Rateliff and company performed with a lively energy for the entirety of their set.
Rateliff was often seen twisting and twirling his way around stage as they played songs from their sophomore album, Tearing at the Seams.
Their latest album, comprised of 14 tracks, further develops the bands 60’s blues-rock sound, featuring groovy songs, such as “You Worry Me.” By introducing modern guitars and electronic instruments, the band proves they are looking to explore beyond their heavily R&B styled past.
Throughout the entirety of Tearing at the Seams, Rateliff’s vintage voice soared above the punchy brass section. Then Rateliff shared the spotlight with fellow band members in songs such as “Wasting Time,” where the pianist and trumpeter scenaded the crowd with a jazz-infused solo.
Later in the show, Rateliff harkened back to his solo days for another song as he took center stage alone with just his guitar, giving an intimate feel to the rather large venue.
Seldom were fans seen standing still during the concert, as Rateliff delivered catchy melodies while the horn and drum sections kept the performance moving. The song that drew the largest reaction from the crowd was, without surprise, S.O.B., which has accumulated close to 70 million views on Spotify alone.
This “barroom freak-out” had the entire Sylvee grooving, and was eventually sung by fans in order to call Rateliff back on stage for an encore.
The hour and a half setlist ended with an encore performance of “Hey Mama” and “I’ll Be Damned.” The high spirited and soulful show made Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats become a must-see next time they visit Madison.