Some nights go exactly as you plan, others not so much. But sometimes those nights that don’t go exactly how you planned turn out to be some of the best nights. That was the case for the highly sold-out NF & Nightly show at The Myth on Saturday. We had our team assembled – myself and our photographer ready to go. However, we got word at the door that all photographer credentials were pulled at the last minute – not exactly the news you want to hear after a half-hour drive. But our photographer understood, packed up and headed home. I grabbed my reviewer ticket at the door and braced myself for sold-out (all-ages) Myth. Due to the decision to pull photography credentials, we will not be able to provide any photos from the show.
As I made my way inside, opener Nightly was already on stage. This Nashville-based group is pretty much the reason I made my way out to The Myth on Saturday. I didn’t know much about NF (more on that later), but I knew I absolutely fell in love with Nightly last summer at the since closed-down Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis. That was the first time Nightly played the Twin Cities and there were about 15 people in the crowd tops. But that didn’t stop Nightly from putting on what was perhaps one of my favorite sets of 2017. Seeing Nightly on stage in front of a sold-out Myth did feel like a bit of a proud-fan moment. Seeing Nightly back at the Triple Rock it was clear they were meant for bigger things. They have a sound is poppy and polished, but also gritty and dark. It’s accessible but fresh, and it’s sound that is very much “now.” The crowd at the Myth, though majority were there for NF, definitely seemed excited about Nightly. There were even some people in the crowd singing along which was special to see. Frontmen (and cousins) Jonathan Capeci and Joey Beretta got the crowd moving and loosened up, which is not always easy for a stoic Midwestern crowd.
Capeci and Beretta talked about that show at the Triple Rock during their set, “this place, St. Paul & Minneapolis, is really special to us. The last time we were here there were about twelve people there,” they laughed. “But we talked to this guy after the show, and he owned a tattoo shop in St. Paul. A lot of us didn’t really have tattoos at the time, but we went to his shop and got tattoos. So this place is kind of a part of us, permanently,” Capeci went on. The same warmth and energy I fell in love with was felt from Nightly again at the Myth. Their desire to not only put on a really great live set, play really good music, but also connect with the crowd & their fans, is a winning combo.
Nightly’s set featured tracks from their debut EP Honest as well as their newest single Miss You Like Hell. Expect to see plenty more from Nightly in 2018.
The headliner, and man of the evening was of course NF. Also known as Nathan John Feuerstein, NF is 26-year old rapper from Gladwin, Michigan and is currently touring in support of his 2017-release Perception. Admittedly – I didn’t know much about NF before finding out we would be covering the show. But as I begin digging into NF online it was clear he’s gained quite the following. With the following, he’s also racked up streams on YouTube, Spotify and other platforms are well into the millions. His albums have climbed Billboard and iTunes charts alike. That fanbase turned up in full force last night to support this internet wunderkin. Just about everywhere I looked there was someone with “Real Music” or “NF” on their shirt, sweatshirt or hat. It’s clear the NF fanbase is fueling this somewhat underground movement of NF fandom.
Being an all-ages show there was quite the mix of ages – kids as young as elementary school age with their own kid-sized NF merch. It’s not often you see such a mix of ages at a hip-hop show. But as NF kicked off his set was tracks like Outcast, Green Light and Know it was clear why. The content of NF music isn’t like what you hear so much these days – drugs, alcohol, questionable treatment of women, etc. But NF’s lyrics explore themes of family, identity, fame, and the music industry as a whole. “Record labels’ signing artists, they ain’t got a clue what to do with. Why would I put my career in the hands of someone that don’t even know what they doing? Why would I sit in a room full of people that don’t even care about me,” NF raps on Know.
Overall NF’s set was polished. The sound was clean, his raps were tight, the production was next to flawless complete with visuals including film clips, smoke machines, and overall just an impressive set. NF delivered a set that lived up to the hype surrounding this king of underground rap.
NF and Nightly continue their tour tonight in Kansas City.