By Molly McCoy
NeedToBreathe brought their Caves tour to the UCCU Center in Orem. This tour consists of two legs, the first leg ending mid November. The second leg starts April 2024. Both legs of the tour will have Judah and the Lion opening for them. After seeing this show it’s definitely one you’ll want to see. With some great stage banter, engaging rapport with the crowd and a captivating stage presence NeedtoBreathe knows how to put on a great show.
First up was Judah and The Lion. I was a little disappointed because they weren’t allowing media for their set so I was unable to photograph them. That did, however, allow me to find my seat and watch their set from start to finish in one go, instead of breaking it down a little like other shows where normally I would photograph the first three songs. As soon as the band came out on stage I knew I was in for more than just the average opener. Judah has an undeniably good stage presence. I think a challenge for some artists is to make their set good enough that people will want to come see them at their own show, keep the crowd entertained and build excitement without taking the spotlight away from the headlining band. Judah and the Lion executed that task perfectly.
Starting their set off with the song “Suit and Jacket”, Judah, the lead singer had incredible vocals that were the perfect mix of melodic and gravelly. As they played through their setlist they included a cover of “My Own Worst Enemy” which included an impressive backlit dance number with him and his fellow bandmates. Before moving on to their next song he told the crowd, “We might not be the coolest band but by God we will be the most fun.” They played a few of their newer releases which was exciting for fans old and new in the crowd as the new songs were a promising look as to what is to come. Before playing one of their final songs Judah mentioned how much the band loves sports, he held up a basketball and pointed to someone in the audience who was holding a lit up basket. He then instructed the crowd the goal was to get the ball to the basket without it hitting the ground. The goal was accomplished and the band proceeded to play their song “Spirit”. Their set ended with them playing “Take it All Back” and Judah telling the crowd they will be back to play for us again.
After a brief wait it was finally time for Need to Breathe to make their appearance. While I had always heard good things about Need to Breathe, they were always on my list to go see but timing of their show dates and my schedule never lined up. So being able to finally see them live was super exciting, not just for me either, the whole room was ready. The lights finally went dark and the room erupted in cheers. Their set started out with the title of their new album as well as their tour “The Cave”. Instantly I was blown away by lead singer Bear Rinehart’s vocals, they were very clear and full of soul as he sang. The band was equally talented and everyone seemed to mesh well on stage, doing a great job of playing off each other.
At one point in the show they slowed things down and Bear sat at the piano and the screen played a video about helping children in need. After the video Bear explained to the crowd that a dollar of every ticket sold goes to help children in foster care in Utah and Salt Lake Counties. He mentioned how there are over 2,000 kids in foster care in Utah, as he spoke there was a QR code on the screen as well as a number audience members could text. I was very impressed with this gesture, the fact that they got the number of children in foster care in our
specific state and the fact that this is something they do in each city they tour through. While they share their music with others they are also trying to help improve the communities they go through.
Throughout the night they would come out onto the catwalk to be closer to the audience and help the concert goers feel closer and more included with the performance. They played a few songs stripped down at the end of the catwalk, they adjusted the lights in such a way it almost made you feel as though you were sitting around the campfire. One of their final songs included their popular song “Brother”, for this song Bear went into the crowd and walked around the entire arena giving fans high fives as he sang through. Fans rushed to the edges for the chance to give him a high five. After the song they left the stage before coming back for their encore. During one of the encore songs they invited Judah back to sing the song “Dreams” which is a collaboration featured on their new album. They invited random crowd members to come up on stage with them to dance around for the song before ending the night back in the campfire setting for their final song.
With a handful of shows left this month as well as a bunch of shows in 2024 from April-June this is not one to miss. NeedtoBreathe puts on a great performance both in their talent as well as their way to joke and connect with the audience. A lot of their shows have had low ticket warnings as they approach so be sure to get tickets early!