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Dear Nathaniel Rateliff; A Concert Review & Love Poem


Hey Nathaniel Rateliff,

I did not mean to omit,

The words expected of me to write,

after seeing you almost a year ago tonight.

I am really sorry it’s taken me so long,

to get around to writing about the good time,

I had hearing your songs so sublime.

Even tho the concert had me inspired,

I was dealing with the Marshall Fire,

when I was supposed to write my review,

that I owed for getting to see you.

The fire came, all while trying to recover,

from the Pandemic that caused the world to suffer.

Our Community,

Needs our Unity,

We need a lotta healing, 

Because many of us are feeling

the setbacks are maddening,

with all that is happening.

So let us extend our comity,

for music that reminds us of our humanity.

All that to say,

we love what you play,

new or old,

You help us feel whole.


A year ago, we got to see the fantastical Nathaniel Rateliff & the Nightsweats down in the Rino District at the Mission Ballroom a month after his latest chart-topping album, The Future, was released. It was our first time visiting The Mission, and what a first concert to see: Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats, one month after debuting his newest album.

Blown away by the music and performance, we had every intention of writing the very best music review we have ever done. But then, a few days later, tragedy struck, and our community was devastated by 1,000 homes being burnt to the ground. We were a week away from heading to the printer with the next edition, forcing us to stop everything and change half the content that had been worked on for months. The following is what we produced in that week:

80027 Strong But Stronger Together | Marshall Fire

For the last year, every time we heard The Future (or frankly, any Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats song), a pang of creeping guilt and shame would overtake us. Damn it, that review was still not written.

Instead of trying to write up something about the nuances of the notes, we settled on this poem. We hope you like it, Nathaniel.

Anyone reading this doesn’t need us to tell them to go download the new album. You probably already have — seeing that it has been #2 on the charts.

The “big” music reviewers are calling The Future’ retro, but all we know is it moves our soul just as he has done with each and every album before it. So while this review is late to the game, it’s important to know that the music helped lift us up through this difficult year. But that’s the way their music is, it makes you feel alive even through the pain of life. 

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats have two shows coming up here in Colorado; Dec. 10th, 2022 at the Belly Up in Aspen, and Dec. 16th, 2022, at the Ball Arena.

Sign up for announcements, get tickets, and of course, buy the album. It will help you dance away your troubles too: https://www.nathanielrateliff.com/tour


Shavonne Blades grew up on the West Coast but moved to Colorado in High School. She left for California after school and returned to Colorado in 1990. She got her start in media at the age of 21 in Santa Cruz, California as an advertising sales rep. Having no experience and nothing more than a couple of years as an art college attendee she felt the bug to work in media at a young age. She learned that by helping her customers with design and marketing, their campaigns would be far more successful and has made a 30+ year career in design, copywriting, and marketing for her clients. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPy4MMdcfLg. She has always chosen to work in Independent Media and believes deeply in the need for true, authentic Community Journalism. She is proud that YS has never compromised journalism standards in its 20+ history and continues to print YS on paper monthly while also expanding web coverage. She has worked at 3 Alternative Weeklies and founded Yellow Scene Magazine in 2000. You can learn more about Shavonne's adventures in the YS 20th Anniversary issue: https://yellowscene.com/2020/10/08/the-yellow-scenes-red-tornado/

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