I was familiar with the South Carolina-based soft rock band’s music, but NEEDTOBREATHE’s concert last Monday at the Michigan Theater was not the kind of event that I usually would go to. That said, I enjoyed the performance for that very reason.

I couldn’t help but be excited as I stood in the buzzing line on the sidewalk to get in to the concert, under the marquee sign lit with NEEDTOBREATHE’s name. It was clear that there were many loyal fans in attendance, and so that was surely a good sign!

After an opener by singer-songwriter Trent Dabbs, the concert began with golden lights onstage turning on one by one, like lanterns in the dark. The band then entered, and launched right in to several songs. One thing that was very fascinating to me about this concert was the set: the background consisted of many twinkling lights, like stars in the sky, with a wave of vertical lines of light at the bottom. The color and intensity of the lights changed according to the mood of the song they were playing, and the bars of light would move at times and turn off completely at others. I thought that it was very well-done in that it was interesting and added to, rather than distracting from, the music.

It was quite a long concert (almost 3 hours with the opener and an intermission), and NEEDTOBREATHE played a host of songs, of which a few of my favorites were “Wasteland,” “Difference Maker,” and “Multiplied.” However, the one thing that I didn’t like was that I found that the music was generally too loud. I expected it to be a rather loud concert, but it was their acoustic tour after all, and so I thought that it would be a little more manageable (I can only imagine how loud their non-acoustic tour concerts must be!). The volume was distracting from the actual music, though, I found that to be frustrating.

On that note, the best part of the concert was hands-down the last songs, during which NEEDTOBREATHE disconnected entirely from the sound system and came to the front of the stage. No microphones, and no amps – just human voices, two guitars, and a single drum. I didn’t want it to end, and I wished that they had performed the entire concert like this! It was in this configuration that they concluded the concert with their hit song “Brother,” to wild applause. After what seemed like a long time filled with shouts of appreciation and unabated applause, NEEDTOBREATHE returned to the stage for an encore of their song “More Heart Less Attack.”

I had a great time at this concert, and it showed me that it’s good to get out of your artistic comfort zone every once in a while!



JM is a dual degree student in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance and the College of Engineering. Some of her favorite things include running, reading, all things creative, purple, and zebras.

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