NEEDTOBREATHE opening for OneRepublic at Isleta - Albuquerque Journal

NEEDTOBREATHE opening for OneRepublic at Isleta

Christian rock band NEEDTOBREATHE is in the support slot of OneRepublic’s “Never Ending Summer Tour,” which makes a stop in Albuquerque on Tuesday, Aug. 23. (Courtesy of Maggie Friedman)

Getting out on tour is refreshing for Josh Lovelace.

After a few years hunkered down at home, Lovelace is relishing each moment he gets to take the stage.

He’s always been grateful to do what he does for a living, this time around it’s different.

Lovelace is a member of the band NEEDTOBREATHE, which not only finds itself on a summer tour with OneRepublic, but the band is also in the opening slot.

“This is new for us,” Lovelace explains. “We haven’t opened for a tour in over a decade. The last we did was in 2011 with Taylor Swift. It’s been a lot of fun and we have about a month left.”

The band will make a stop on OneRepublic’s “Never Ending Summer Tour” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, at Isleta Amphitheater.

Lovelace says the opening spot on tour is quite different from the over two hour shows the band plays when headlining a tour.

“We’re playing an hour and it’s a good challenge for us,” he says. “We’re having to figure out how we can pack the most punch into an hour set. It’s nice to see people coming out to shows again. This is also a chance for us to introduce ourselves to a new audience. After 20 years as a band, it’s amazing to get this opportunity and have a different set of fans hear us.”

With more time on their hands on tour, Lovelace and crew are utilizing every moment.

After their set, the band members can often be found writing new material either on the bus or in the hotel room.

“It’s been a productive tour,” Lovelace says. “We definitely like to turn it out. We’re trying to push ourselves with writing.”

NEEDTOBREATHE released its album, “Out of Body” in 2020 and then followed it up with “Into the Mystery” in 2021.

Neither album got a proper touring cycle because of the pandemic.

Lovelace says having the opportunity to get out on the road and perform the songs from both albums is a blessing.

“We’ve put out eight records to this point and it’s really tough to get everything in,” he says. “We’ve been throwing in medleys of songs to make sure our 20-year career is represented. We also want to give some life to the newer songs. We’re a band that never stops.”

Lovelace says the music the band is writing is coming from a more inspired place.

He’s also been getting some time to reflect on his journey in music.

“When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was play music,” he says. “Sure, I enjoyed baseball and hanging out with my friends. Music was always something that had a bigger draw for me. I feel alive. Now, I’ve been doing this for 20-plus years for a living and it’s like the icing on top. We’re in a sweet spot as a band and it’s been that way for a long time. Now it’s about enjoying the ride and a continual process of pushing ourselves.”

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