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The energy in a rock concert is something that simply cannot be explained. It’s when you’re sitting in the nosebleeds, but you still feel like you’re in the front row. Everyone in the venue is connected, stranger-to-stranger, to everyone else for the few hours that the music allows. It’s something everyone should experience.

There was one such concert this past weekend at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, headlined by NEEDTOBREATHE. Sadly, the Pabst Theater is a 10-hour drive from Fargo and NEEDTOBREATHE isn’t going to be nearby anytime soon, but even their recorded music captures the energy of a true rock concert.

NEEDTOBREATHE is usually considered a rock band, but they have created somewhat of their own genre. Their songs reflect their South Carolina heritage with the use of a banjo and bluesy chords. Most of their hits are heard on Christian radio, but many of their songs have topped mainstream charts.

NEEDTOBREATHE opened the concert with “Devil’s Been Talkin’,” an upbeat banjo-driven song. The song has dark lyrics, “I’m running out of this hole alone / these fingers bled down to the bone,” but they are set to a hopeful tune that proves nothing but empowering. The continuous bass drum beat in “Drive All Night,” one of their most energetic songs, forces you to tap your foot, turn it up loud, and maybe even dance. This non-stop drive is found in much of NEEDTOBREATHE’s music. “The Outsiders” is a mellower take on this drive and showcases their southern roots with banjo, harmonica, and a boom-chuck drum rhythm.

NEEDTOBREATHE’s songs are extremely melodic and catchy. Their uplifting lyrics and feel-good tunes are quick to evoke a smile, something mainstream music doesn’t seem to do.

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