Nathaniel Rateliff & Tallest Man On Earth
Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
(Photos by Max Erhlich)
I recently told my friend how much I liked the catchy and pretty awesome songs from DOM, one of the newest buzz bands, despite the fact that (based on lyrics, originality/sincerity, and a Pitchfork Interview) I’m not “rooting” for them. Nathaniel Rateliff, while not exactly making the most groundbreaking music, is someone that one (and especially the sold-out crowd at Lincoln Hall) roots for, on the other hand. The coolest thing about Rateliff’s set was that it featured reflective, acoustic, lyric-based stories that sonically isn’t too far removed from newer bands like Band Of Horses and Blitzen Trapper, but provided something more to grip; AND, it did all this in sweet three-minute packages. Not drawing out a slow-paced tune is key, I feel. The 5-piece was able to repeatedly thank the crowd for being so polite and appreciative, many of whom I’d imagine will catch them at Lincoln Hall’s brother-venue Schubas on July 21st, as well as fitting in ten strong songs.
Nathaniel’s vocals, which are often backed up, drops to the deep tones of Bill Callahan or Mark Lannegan. I wrote down lyrics from all ten songs in hoping to find the track names that way, but unfortunately the press on the band is still fairly limited in that sense. The songs I have stars by, which I am able to find, tend to highlight the newer material from the late April release of this year, In Memory Of Loss. One of the most available tracks floating around the blog-world was an In Memory track that came towards the end of the set, “Early Spring Till.”
“Whimper and Wail,” another track available on their MySpace might have been the show-highlight; perusing their MySpace and available songs on the Internet give a pretty good indication of what to expect from the albums, and being a Tallest Man On Earth fan is a pretty strong endorsement for Nathaniel Rateliff. Another strong endorsement is that Kristian Matsson (thee Tallest Man On Earth himself) seems to be a pretty big fan. Amazingly, this was my first time at Lincoln Hall – amazingly because I go to shows a lot, and have been very close to coming here a lot. Like Park West, the disco ball really adds an awesome touch to any band, which spins during the end of sets. The song I had starred as liking the most had the lyrics “I guess you caught me in my…” Be sure to check that out among his two albums, and certainly get a ticket for the upcoming show; definitely the best outlet to here the band’s beautiful arrangements.
I was fortunate to get into this show (esp. for free) after it had been sold-out for a while, and although TMOE was the initial draw, it was Nathaniel’s publicist that got me in. I’ll only breeze by the important the Tallest Man On Earth notes – this will not be easy because the whole thing was awesome and I’ll spent the majority of the waking hours thinking about the show (the waking hours have been all but three hours), so I sort of won’t. He gave us some extra songs because it’s the last one before he takes a two month slumber before Pitchfork, and the cover songs were the most fun. If you haven’t heard TMOE before hustle over to YouTube and queue up the lyrics to “The Gardener,” one of the most played songs of 2009 for me.
I’ll let ya drool over the set list.
1) The Wild Hunt
2) 1000 Years
3) I Won’t Be Found
4) The Gardener (“a song about flowers”)
5) Kids On The Run
6) The Drying Of The Lawns
7) Pistol Dreams
8) Where Do My Bluebird Fly?
9) By Your Side (Sade)
10) I’m Going Back
11) Troubles Will Be Gone
12) Love Is All
13) Graceland (Paul Simon)
14) Burden Of Tomorrow
15) King Of Spain
16) I’ll Keep It With Mine (Dylan) w/ friend Amanda
17) The Man In Me (Dylan) w/ Lots of friends!!!
18) Like The Wheel
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