Watch Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats at The Frequency?


Relax, this isn't some kind of clickbait. The die-hard Madison music aficionados, the ones who thrive on live emerging independent bands, know what we're talking about.

Back in November of 2013, the always adventurous Communion showcase series brought five artists to the basement-like confines of the Frequency just off the Capitol Square. Perched atop the eclectic bill was a new project from a relatively obscure singer-songwriter. Someone who was previously known for his neo-folk style. A guy named Nathaniel Rateliff was trying out his new adventure with the Night Sweats.

As usual with weeknight shows, the crowd thinned out for the Communion line-up as the night wore on. People have to work or make that early class. When the clock struck well after midnight about 20 people were left to experience the evolution of Nathaniel Rateliff's new vision. It's one of those rare moments where you look around the club and smile at everyone who soldiered on through five bands to hit the jackpot. The people who left early, I'm sure, will tell all their friends they stuck it out. We all know better.

Rateliff first showed up on our radar during the Daytrotter Barnstormer shows when he shared the stage with Delta Spirit. Always more of a retrospective singer-songwriter, it was amazing to see the energy created onstage with his six new bandmates. It was a miracle they could all fit on the Frequency stage! By a stroke of luck, we were able to caputure this S.O.B moment for posterity. Not sure who Nathaniel was dancing with in the crowd that night, but it's safe to say that Dancing with the Stars is not in his future. Maybe that's a good thing, as he's doing just fine with a new album and tour.

Nathaniel Rateliff and the boys will be in Wisconsin for Justin Vernon's Eaux Claires shindig on August 13. We're pretty sure there will be more than 20 people in the audience. Son of a bitch!


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