from the department of communication, harding university

Needtobreathe and Ben Rector concert review
Written by Emily Chaffin   
Saturday, 25 February 2012 15:51

The Benson Auditorium was abuzz with students as Ben Rector and NeedToBreathe took to the stage Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 8 p.m. Harding was the second stop on their “The Reckoning Tour.”


Ben Rector, who has opened for Dave Barnes and Five for Fighting, hyped up the crowd with a soulful eight-song set including “Never Gonna Let You Go”, “White Dress” and “She Is.” Although he was the opening act, he gave a first-rate performance and energized the crowd as he blasted out some crowd favorites. Rector even headlined an acoustic cover of Whitney Houston’s “Dance with Somebody.”


His popular “White Dress,” a soulful piano ballad, got the crowd involved as they sang along with the chorus of “I never knew that I could love someone the way that I love you.” His engaging performance left everyone standing on their feet.


Rector used “Forever Like That,” an acoustic love ballad, to showcase his carefree attitude as he described the description he often hears of himself as that Ben Rector who writes those “silly love songs.” The song, which Rector wrote for his wife, was sweet and exhibited a raw emotion rarely seen in performances of its kind.


For Rector’s last song of the evening, “Let the Good Times Roll,” the crowd energetically helped Rector sing out the chorus to show NeedToBreathe that they were a group to be reckoned with.


As NeedToBreathe took the stage, the crowd could hardly contain their excitement as they let out ear splitting screams as the stage, designed to look like a typewriter, lit up with the words “The Reckoning.” NeedToBreathe, with their Kings of Leon-inspired bluegrass sound, failed to disappoint their audience.


Among their thirteen-song line-up they belted out their most popular songs including “Let us Love” and “Washed by the Water.”


While the performance did not fail to please, it was the positive messages found in their music that were most appreciated. With songs like “Let Us Love” the band encouraged teens and college kids to love “like we were children.”


It was the humble and grateful attitude that truly captured the audience as the band members expressed their gratitude for being able to play at Harding University. The band said that college campus shows are what being a band is all about for them.


While their gratitude was met with much applause, it was the three-song encore of “Something Beautiful,” “The Reckoning” and “Slumber” that truly stole the show.


As lead vocalist, Bear Rineheart, shushed the crowd during “Slumber,” the audience became dead silent as Bear and fellow band members Bo Rineheart and Joe Stillwell stepped away from their microphones and sang out. The show’s ending was met with deafening roars as their microphones were turned up and they sang out the last of “Slumber.”


The show was an energetic experience from beginning to end.


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