Have you ever stood in the pouring rain just to get into a venue an hour before a concert actually starts? It’s an interesting thought, to be surrounded by so many other people that are standing through the same rain as you, that are just as excited as you (or even more) to see the same bands as you? Well after the night that The Reckoning Tour came through Orlando, FL, I could now proudly say that I have.
Ben Rector and his backing band played first. To be totally honest, I really never knew much about the guy, or his music. I walked into his show with next to no knowledge or even expectations, other than what you would typically expect when walking into a NEEDTOBREATHE show. The band had a style of music that wasn’t all too new or groundbreaking, think of it as singer-songwriter piano-pop, yet with more depth than what you would expect that genre to be. Still, Ben did prove that he sure knew how to write a catchy song.
The notable thing that makes two-piece tours pretty interesting is that usually, both band’s sets are pretty long. The other thing being that the opening band usually has somewhat of an awkward response, seeing as they’re supposed to warm up the crowd for the headliner. Still, I’m going to say that Ben Rector did his job, as when NEEDTOBREATHE walked out for their show, there was a massive positive crowd response.
Wow. Just wow. The way that the band walked out to the introduction to “Ooh’s and Ahh’s” – appropriately, the opening track off of The Reckoning album– was so theatrical, the band had definitely tried to put on so much more of a show than JUST a rock show. There was definitely a huge investment into the tour budget, as there was this huge typewriter backdrop behind the band that had spelled out “The Reckoning” within its keys, and it had also doubled as a lighting set-up, it was a spectacle in and of itself. You could clearly see that the band had plenty of fun doing what they do, especially between the two brothers in the band, Bo and Bear Rinehart.
Then there was the actual show. Without giving away too much from the set list, a majority of the songs played were from “The Reckoning” album, big surprise, right? There were a total of 17 songs played through their set. This would be including a cover of “Folsom Prison Blues”, a song by the late and great Johnny Cash, whose 80th birthday would have been the night before the show. Guitarist, Bo Rinehart, sung a verse through the cover, and it really sounded pretty good. That guy has some great pipes, and I would say that it would be a great move for him to step up as more than just a background vocalist on future releases.
Disappointingly, at the “end” of the show, there really wasn’t much of a crowd response, but the band came back out again anyways. Why do bands really do that anyway? Anyway, the band came back for their encore of about 4 songs, and they really made a party out of it. I was unfamiliar with a few of the songs played, but Ben Reactor and his band came to play a song with the NTB guys, and they sure made a real jam session out of it.
The most impressive part of the night was the finale of their set. The band had performed an acoustic version of “Slumber”. Toward the end of the song, at the final chorus, the sound guy had gradually turned down the volume of the speakers so much to the point that the band had shouted and played their guitars as loud as possible, so that the crowd could really feel the emotion and passion behind the lines: “All these victims stand in line for the crumbs that fall from the table, just enough to get by. All the while your invitation. Wake on up from your slumber, Baby open up your eyes.” It was just incredible to see.
I’ve never been to a NEEDTOBREATHE show before, but after that amazing performance, I would totally jump at the opportunity to see them again.