In a time of smoke and mirrors music, it is rare and remarkable to see a band stripped down the rawness and honesty of talent and skill. Nathaniel Rateliff and his band stopped by Schubas on their first headlining tour, and I’m proud to say that Chicago gave them the warmest of welcomes. Finally seeing this band for a full, give-us-what-we-want set, I felt like I was seeing them for the first time. Americana rock, however you want to describe it, is a moving, truthful form of musical get-down that was made to be heard in barns and around campfires across our economically stricken land. Or in our case, in warm Schubas intimacy with a room full of people who very clearly appreciate and adore Nathaniel Rateliff & Co. with the same fervor. Shroud and Early Spring Till were standouts as always, with harmonies that hit you in such a way that you’re frozen, amazed, and somewhat jealous. An hour-long set with a three-song encore is what I’m goddamn talking about. Thank you, friends, for bringing Chicago something fine on a sticky summer night. We are grateful.