The highly anticipated Tour De Compadres, NEEDTOBREATHE‘s brainchild featuring Switchfoot, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors and Colony House, descended upon Nashville’s brand-new Ascend Amphitheatre Friday night (August 14, 2015). Those who attended NEEDTOBREATHE’s show last fall at The Woods at Fontanel were holding their breath, wondering if the evening would prove to be as epic as the magical performance that eventually became the band’s inaugural live record, Live From The Woods (Atlantic/Word). While the vibe of the concert proved drastically different from The Woods, NEEDTOBREATHE and friends delivered an unbelievable night full of soul, camaraderie and good ole rock ‘n’ roll. In fact, between the Rinehart brothers, the Foreman brothers and the Chapman brothers (not to mention NEEDTOBREATHE’s current hit song), the outing could have easily been called “The Brother Tour.” However, in the true spirit of brotherhood and the real name of the tour, each of the hand-picked acts could not have been more supportive of their fellow compadres. Authentic friendship was alive and well among the artists, each act complimenting one another during their respective sets. It’s evident these four bands have common goals in their vulnerable approach to their art, their strong faith and their tremendous respect for one another.
As concert-goers trailed in, Colony House opened the evening with a five-song set. Caleb, Will and Scott inevitably gained new fans as they blew through cuts from their stunning debut, When I Was Younger (Descendant), and introduced a new song as well. Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman–Caleb and Will’s parents and undoubtedly the band’s biggest fans–could be seen watching from the audience, standing up cheering and singing throughout their entire set. Jon Foreman (Switchfoot) called the boys “Nashville’s favorite new band,” while Bear Rinehart later gushed about NEEDTOBREATHE’s love for the group saying, “They’re going to be way bigger than us!”
COLONY HOUSE SET LIST:
“Can’t Do This Alone” (new song)
“Second Guessing Games”
“Waiting for My Time to Come”
DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS
After a brief gear change, Drew Holcomb took the stage in his signature three-piece suit and hat. The charming singer/songwriter and his longtime band “The Neighbors” played multiple selections from his latest critically-acclaimed project, Medicine (Magnolia Music), as well as fan favorites like “Fire and Dynamite” and “Tennessee.” As the sky morphed from pink to red to orange, the troubadour invited his wife, Ellie, onstage to sing “Hung the Moon.” He dedicated “What Would I Do Without You” to his weeks-old son, Huck, who was attending his innagural concert that evening, while his two-year-old daughter, Emmylou, visibly watched his set from the side-stage often waving to her daddy. The always solemn Holcomb praised the line-up’s artists noting what incredible people he was honored to tour alongside. (Incidentally, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors has tour with NEEDTOBREATHE more than any other artist in the band’s history.)
DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS SET LIST:
“Nothing But Trouble”
“Shine Like Lightning”
“Hung The Moon” (feat. Ellie Holcomb)
“What Would I Do Without You”
“Fire and Dynamite”
“Here We Go”
Fittingly, as the stars began to dot the Music City sky, Switchfoot set the stage ablaze with a fiery rendition of “Stars.” After the first song, lead singer Jon Foreman was rarely on the stage as he made his way through nearly the entire venue, walking the rows, climbing on seats, and high-fiving fans before crowd surfing his way back to the front after several cuts. The San Diego band gathered around one mic for an acoustic version of “Hello Hurricane,” calling on the Colony House men to join them onstage for a sing along. They ended their 50-minute set with arguably the biggest hit of their career, “Dare You To Move,” asking fans to light up the night with their cell phones.
SWITCHFOOT SET LIST:
“Meant to Live”
“Love Alone Is Worth The Fight”
“Where I Belong”
“Your Love Is A Song”
“When We Come Alive”
“Dare You to Move”
The Compadres banner dropped revealing a wall of lights before headliners NEEDTOBREATHE took the stage launching their 80-minute set with “State I’m In” before transitioning into a haunting, agressive rendition of “Oohs and Ahhs.” The band reimagined “Something Beautiful” as an anthemic ballad beneath the city lights of Nashville’s high-rises peeking above the stage. Frontman Bear Rinehart disappeared mid-way through the ending jam session of “Oh, Carolina” giving his brother, Bo, the spotlight. He reemerged on a secondary stage in the lawn area armed with an acoustic guitar and the lights of the Korean Veterans Boulevard bridge behind him for a stirring performance of “Difference Maker.” The set ended all too soon with “Wanted Man” and the brilliant ending tag of Modest Mouse’s “Float On,” but the band soon re-emerged for an encore of “Brother.” Jon Foreman reappeared for the bridge, and then they invited all of the tour’s acts onstage to round out the song. Sparkling pyro rained down in the back for a fantastic finale. Then, NEEDTOBREATHE capped off the evening with an acoustic version of “Washed By The Water,” with all 6,800 concert goers signing along. The gracious South Carolina natives thanked industry folks in Nashville, saying they wouldn’t be a band without this town. They also bragged on their fellow compadres, fanboying over Colony House, jokingly calling the 33-year-old Drew Holcomb their “father figure” and reflecting back on how they listened to and idolized Switchfoot growing up calling Foreman & Co. “the real, real, real deal.” The band’s full set streamed live on Tidal. Fans can currently still watch it on demand here.
NEEDTOBREATHE SET LIST:
“State I’m In”
“Oohs and Ahhs”
“Keep Your Eyes Open”
“Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now”
“Wanted Man” / “Float On” (Modest Mouse cover)
“Brother” (feat. all of the Compadres)
“Washed By The Water”
Tour De Compadres draws to a close this week. However, based on the incredible response to the tour that saw multiple sell outs, including an epic night in July at Red Rocks, chances are good NEEDTOBREATHE is already thinking of making this an annual tradition.
For more info, visit www.needtobreathe.com.