“…in a window that we’re peaking through.” – Needtobreathe
I have Tinnitus. Don’t fret for my declining health though – that’s just fancy talk for my ears are ringing. My wife and I got home at 2:45 this morning. I can’t tell you the last time I was up on purpose at 2:45 am. It was the kind of thing I would have done as a college student, and we saw plenty of those last night as well. We’re stepping out of the 80’s briefly today because the bride and I and another totally awesome couple went to a concert last night in Oklahoma City, and it wasn’t to see an 80’s band. The guys in the band were born during the 80’s so maybe that’s how I tie it all together today.
We bought tickets months ago to go see one of our favorite contemporary bands – Needtobreathe. Not familiar with the group out of South Carolina? That’s ok, because you’re not the only one, but the group with the strange name has been around awhile. Formed by brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart along with bassist Seth Bolt and keys player Josh Lovelace, NTB has been releasing albums since 2006 and they have a strong, passionate following of “Breathers.” Kind of a creepy thing to call their fans? Maybe? But can they put on a show? Hell yes.
This is the third time that the wife and I have been to see this underappreciated band. NTB lyrics tend to carry Christian undertones and if you listen to any “Christian radio” then you’ve heard their songs before. Even though the Rineharts are sons of a preacher, they don’t label themselves a “Christian band.” They have crossover appeal and perform with other similar artists (Mat Kearney, Parachute, and Welshly Arms all opened up for NTB).
Even though you will hear some of their songs on Christian radio you will also hear them on rock stations as well (I hear them on The Pulse channel on SiriusXM Radio). I have a lot of admiration for bands like theirs that try to straddle the fine line between maintaining their core values and faith and the temptations that go along with being young rock stars. Throw in a dash of brotherly conflict (they’re only about 15-16 months apart in age and apparently very different in personality) that nearly derailed the band a few years ago and you have to admire their determination and perseverence. They write wonderful lyrics, and they exude a positive energy and vibe that is hard to resist when you start following them.
The only real “problems” with our trip to OKC is that the show was on a Tuesday night and a 3.5 hour drive away to the venue. We also decided not to stay the night in the city, but instead opted to drive back home the same night. Can I get a “Drive All Night!”
I’m not sure the decibel level last night in The Criterion, but the muffled ringing in my ears tells me it was sufficient. Oh, and we stood for basically six hours straight. Yes, The Criterion is a new facility in OKC without seating. It’s nice and clean, and it’s a great addition to downtown OKC, but just be prepared that it is general admission – standing room only. So you and 3,500 or so of your closest friends are packed in there. I stood, literally, for six hours straight. I was in line by 5 pm, doors opened at 6 pm, concert started at 7 and ended about 11. I can’t describe how good it felt to sit down in my vehicle after the concert. The facility cools down nicely so it’s not a hotbox. Really my only complaint (besides the lack of actual seats) is that lining up outside to get in is a little confusing and not really marked at all. But, I can’t complain, because we were only about three deep from the very front so it couldn’t have gotten much better in terms of our view.
Country superstar Toby Keith has a restaurant just blocks from the venue, and I reminded myself more than once “I’m not as good as I was once, but I’m as good once as I ever was.” Chalk one up for the young, college-aged Kyle last night! Six hours on his feet and then a 3.5 hour drive home with just our friends in another vehicle following and all of the truckers who like the roads at that time.
The Tinnitus is slowly leaving so I think I will recover. Thank you for your concern. I may not be bouncing back as quickly as I did in college, but I will recover, and with God’s help I will have another night like that again, or maybe two, or maybe three. I love making memories like last night, and we all know our time on this planet is limited so enjoy it. Enjoy it with others and soak in some of that Needtobreathe energy and positivity and go out and make the most of it. Buy a ticket and go see Bear, Bo, and the boys, and in the meantime go and be a “Difference Maker.”
“We are all transgressors, we’re all sinners, we’re all astronauts
So if you’re beating death then raise your hand, but shut up if you’re not”
Thanks for reading.