Rateliff developed a dedicated following within the Denver music community. The New York Times dubbed him a Denver local folk-pop hero. Spin praised his "massive, alluring" voice. Billboard dubbed the unsigned singer-songwriter a "must hear. " This wave of acclaim led to a solo tour opening for The Fray, which brought his work to the attention of national and international audiences. Rateliff was featured on the late-night music television series Later. . . with Jools Holland on BBC in 2011. Rateliff has also shared the stage with artists such as Bon Iver, Mason Jennings, Iron & Wine, Ben Howard, Michael Kiwanuka, The Low Anthem, Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling and Rosanne Cash, among others, including The Lumineers in Denver for the United States presidential election debates, 2012. On August 5, 2015, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats made their late-night television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The band played Ontario's Wayhome festival and Austin City Limits in 2016.