In a period that is so currently bogged down with political anxiety, it’s nice to come together as a unit to enjoy some good music and good times. That was exactly what happened Thursday night when southern rock band, Needtobreathe, brought their All The Feels Tour to Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall and shared with us their sixth studio album, Hard Love.
Starting the night off were Tennessee indie rockers, Colony House. A band which features two sons of renowned Christian pop singer Steven Curtis Chapman. Their energy and enthusiasm radiated from the stage to the audience and set the tone for the evening. During their 45-minute opening set, the four-piece showcased several songs from their latest sophomore album, Only The Lonely. The most notable being “You & I” and “You Know It.”
Needtobreathe opened their 100-minute headlining set with “Great Night” from Hard Love, again foreshadowing the intentions of the evening. An array of circular lights illuminated the five members as their combined sound filled the theatre fully. Between the cheerful rhythms, lyrical content and overall positivity, it was impossible to watch and listen without a smile on your face.
The members of Needtobreathe are practicing Christians. After a couple songs, frontman and vocalist, Bear Rinehart, happily stated “We may not all have the same beliefs or vote the same way, but it’s nice to know we can all put that aside for a few hours and enjoy some good music together.”
One of the most impressive qualities of Needtobreathe is their ability to harmonize. Not only is Rinehart an excellent vocalist but so are his lead guitarist brother Bo Rinehart and baby-faced bass player Seth Bolt. Bolt even showcased his chops during a cover of the Ben E. King classic, “Stand by Me.”
Needtobreathe wrapped up their main set with the dynamic title track “Hard Love.” The Rinehart brothers then returned to the stage to kick off the encore with a couple stripped down songs on piano and acoustic guitar. Bear shared that he selfishly downplays his brother’s songs when they are first played for him, but when he wrote “Something Beautiful,” he knew it would change their lives forever. The rest of the band would eventually rejoin them to perform their big hit, “Brother.”
What followed was an incredible showcase of talent and a unique way to wrap a concert. The band members all joined at the front of the stage, completely unplugged. Sans microphones and all to perform “Outsiders” and “Slumber.” This was maybe the first time a band has requested that no one sing along which became a challenge for some audience members until they were shushed by those around them.
It is not surprising that Needtobreathe are becoming more recognized and expanding their fan base outside the Christian music scene. They demonstrate growth as a band and seem to get better with every album. The Needtobreathe concert experience is also amplified by their positive attitude and overall good nature.