Talk about the passion.
Popular in the Twin Cities since 89.3 the Current began blasting their eponymous debut album in 2015, Denver’s Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats delighted a sell-out crowd Sunday night at the Palace Theatre in St. Paul.
Imagine a young Van Morrison fronting a horn-heavy version of the Band with the volume – and energy – turned up to 11.
For a hard-hitting 80 minutes, the ebullient Rateliff, 39, delivered nearly every one of his updated retro Southern soul numbers with the fervor of an R&B shouter. Even a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s usually minimalist ballad “Atlantic City” seemed amped up, maybe unnecessarily so.
The passion couldn’t be denied, though. And crowd partied along to the rock ‘n’ soul stomp “I Need Never Get Old,” the James Brown-evoking “Baby I Lost My Way (But I’m Coming Home)” and the hit “S.O.B.,” the sobriety anthem that has the festive vibe of a drinking song.
Even though the set featured mostly selections from this year’s commendable “Tearing at the Seams” album, Rateliff and his fine band could use more varied dynamics and tempos in their repertoire, like the country-gospel waltz “You Worry Me.”
Not that any of the fans were complaining