WBRU celebrated its birthday in style again this year with the help of Le Roxy Pro, Weathers, and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats at Lupo’s on October 23. A long line of excited fans wrapped around the block well after doors opened.
First to play were 2016 Rock Hunt winners Le Roxy Pro. Those who followed last spring’s Rock Hunt were excited to hear the band’s surf-inspired rock and roll, and those who had never heard of the band were impressed by the Providence group’s energetic sound.
Next up was LA-based alt-rock band Weathers. Despite only having two songs to their online discography, the band played an engaging set to pump up the crowd. The four members turned the stage into a dance floor, head-banging along to their slightly angsty yet catchy indie rock hits. After drummer Cole Carson banged out an impressive solo, the crowd was more than warmed up. They introduced their newest hit single, “Happy Pills,” as a “stupid little song” that they wrote before the band had even become a band. It couldn’t have been that stupid, as almost everyone jumped along to the chorus!
After enthusiastically welcoming the opening acts, fans were ready for Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. Buzz circulated among long-time fans, some even claiming that they’d had frontman Nathaniel Rateliff’s previous albums on repeat in their cars for years. The band’s entrance was low-key, as they immediately eased into slow instrumentals. Cheers broke out when the show-stealing saxophone and trumpet came in, and even louder when Rateliff ran to the mic positioned front-and-center on the stage.
Rateliff kept a calm demeanor on stage, swaying back and forth to the beat. His relaxed presence, however, never took away from the strength and energy of his vocals that, along with the unique brass instruments, filled the room with a vintage Americana and rock-inspired sound. The dynamic changes between minimal verses and triumphant choruses kept the crowd engaged and excited.
Upon hearing the beginning of the popular “I Need Never Get Old,” the crowd yelled, clapped, and stomped with excitement. What made the show memorable was the prominent percussive elements, whether it was the steady punch of instruments or the crowd’s ground-shaking stomping. During this song, especially, stomps rumbled through the whole venue, the beat maintained by a driving bass line and tambourine that rose in strength with each repetition of the chorus.
After playing a song from their soon-to-be-released EP (look out for it on November 18th), the band transitioned into “Wasting Time,” sending strong yet emotive harmonies over the crowd. The accompanying rises in the crowd lights revealed a mass of faces fully captured by the song.
The climax of the show came during the band’s last song, “S.O.B.” This was the hit single everyone came to hear, and the whole crowd sang and danced along to the lively chorus. Fans sang along with a chorus of “oooh”s and kept the rumble of percussion going with stomps and claps. No one budged as they all waited for an encore, and the band came back out to close the show with some calmer tunes.
And so concluded another successful Birthday Bash. Thanks to Le Roxy Pro, Weathers, and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats for making it such a memorable night. Happy birthday, BRU!