October 14, 2023
Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Review by Joseph Hett
Greenville Welcomes NEEDTOBREATHE Home
NEEDTOBREATHE brought the “CAVES World Tour” to their hometown on Saturday night at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC. It’s always special when the rock band that formed in nearby Seneca, SC comes home. This was the second stop on their world tour – named after NTB’s recently released album “Caves”– that runs well into next summer.
NEEDTOBREATHE is anchored by founding members Bear Rinehart (lead vocals and guitar) and Seth Bolt (bass) along with Josh Lovelace (keyboards), Randall Harris (drums) and Tyler Burkum (guitar).
Many NEEDTOBREATHE fans – also known as Outsiders – made their way into the arena wearing hats like frontman Rinehart’s signature wide brimmed fedora.
NEEDTOBREATHE came out with the slow burning “The Cave.” They continued with “State I’m In.” The heavier guitar riffs were brought out for “Don’t Bring That Trouble.”
Rinehart greeted the crowd, “Man, this feels good. Thanks y’all for having us. The band got started in this town. We played some really small places then we played this massive place called the Handlebar that was down the street back in the day. I still consider this a home game for us. Thank y’all for being so sweet tonight showing up. We appreciate it very much.” Rinehart continued that when he moved to Charleston, SC he was inspired to write the next song titled “Let’s Stay Home Tonight.”
After “Drive All Night” and “Hard Love,” Jon Foreman of Switchfoot appeared on the big screens welcoming everyone before the NTB setlist staple “The Outsiders.”
The southern rock sounding “Riding High” got everyone up on their feet to celebrate their “bad decisions.” The new and catchy “Wasting Time” kept the momentum going.
After a brief documentary video of the band, NEEDTOBREATHE played an acoustic set on the end of the stage’s runway. They featured “Everknown,”“Banks,” “Into the Mystery” and “Great Night.” A humorous moment happened when Rinehart mentioned his family was in attendance. Then each member on the intimate stage noted one by one that their families were also in attendance in deadpan deliveries.
A video of an adoption story played on the big screen as NEEDTOBREATHE made their way back to the main stage. A QR code and text number was displayed for patrons to help donate to the For Others Collective. Rinehart, while seated at a piano, mentioned the money raised would stay in the Greenville area. For the second time ever, NTB performed “Fall on Me.”
After that emotional moment, NEEDTOBREATHE got back on track with “Hang On” and “Girl Named Tennessee.” Lead guitarist Burkum got a chance to sing lead on a cover of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.”
A tradition at NEEDTOBREATHE concerts is when Rinehart makes his way through the perimeter of the arena giving high fives to fans. He did this tonight all while singing the uplifting “Brother.”
NEEDTOBREATHE closed the set out with “We Could Run Away” and a cover of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger.” They all left the stage to a standing ovation.
After a few minutes, NEEDTOBREATHE came back out and performed “Temporary Tears.”
Judah Akers from the opening act Judah & the Lion came out wearing a Furman University basketball jersey to help perform their recently released collaboration “Dreams.” At the end of the runway, Rinehart brought up a few members of the audience – even two of his young sons Wilder and Woods. Rinehart was actually a standout football player at the Greenville’s Furman University.
NTB closed the encore out with “Something Beautiful” and “Washed by the Water.”
The hometown heroes put on a remarkable two hour show. It is impressive that this was only the second show of their world tour. This show was phenomenal all the way from the musicianship to the production. NEEDTOBREATHE really has this stage show dialed in. Outsiders and fans of good music are in for a treat for the next year.