Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats are no strangers to Edmonton. The alternative blues group have visited the city on several occasions; the first being at Edmonton Folk Festival a mere two days before their breakout performance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

So when Nathaniel and his comrades were announced as headliners for the eighth edition of Interstellar Rodeo, it was exciting for everyone – including the band.

“We love this city. Be kind to one another.” Nathaniel lovingly ordered as the band played one of their last songs.


From the very beginning of their set, the group, consisting of eight performers, set the tone as they cruised into “You Worry Me”, a groove-oozing ballad. The performance overflowed with swagger, whether the band played old songs or new.

I sat towards the top of the hill, so I had a clear view of the crowd, all the way from the stage to the father and daughter sitting directly in front of me. The people at the stage were swaying as one, hands up, feet stomping to the infectious beat. Climbing up the hill, the musical response became a bit more tame, except for the father and daughter duo. As soon as Nathaniel ripped into “S.O.B.”, the daughter, who couldn’t have been older than 12, and her father, wearing a Siracha shirt, belted out the song together as though their lives depended on it.


That’s the beauty of Interstellar Rodeo. People are encouraged to be themselves and to rock out in whatever way feels right, and that’s why Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats were the perfect act to close out the festival’s final night. The sense of community fostered by both the festival and the band is what makes Interstellar Rodeo so special. Already looking forward to next year.




Filed under: interstellar rodeo, nathaniel rateliff and the night sweats