Last night I made my first venture outto a concert in a long time in order to go see Matisyahu. As I said before, I am not crazy about reggae by any means, but I was hearing great things about Matisyahu from various friends and the buzz about the guy is out of control. I finally picked up Live at Stubbs a few weeks back and it has been in very heavvy rotation for me since then. Every once in a while I guess I need some uplifting or positive music, and this definately fits that bill.
The show was sold out and when I got there at 730, a half hour after doors opened there was still a line 50-75 people deep, waiting to get in. I got in and ordered a few Dewars and soda's (note to bartenders, Dewars and soda is different than Dewars and coke, if i wanted a Dewars and coke i woulda ordered that) and watched the crowd. There was a nice mix, age 21 to maybe even late fifty's. Saw a few around in traditional hasidic jewish garb as well. It was overall a friendly crowd, and by the time the opener Treevor Hall opened the place was full. I stayed in the back during Trevor Hall's set. I thought I was in Dave Matthew's Band coffehouse hell. But, after 45 minutes he was done.
Matisyahu then came on and played for about 85-90 minutes. I thought his band was extremely tight, and his vocals seemed to be on during the whole show as well. If you have heard the Live at Stubbs CD you have a pretty good idea as to what to expect at his shows these days. There was a bit less banter with the crowd than on the live CD, but he definately seemed to feed off the crowd and vice versa. The opener, "Raise me up" was a great choice in my opinion. A bit of a slow burn type of song that builds up and then gets the crowd ready for what happens next. The suprise of the show for me was Matisyahu's beatbox routine. I skip past that on the Live at Stubbs CD, all the time. But at the show, i found myself enjoying it quite a bit. The highlight was "Exaltation" which the rest of the crowd seemed to love as well. A few Dewars and Sodas and an encore later the show was over and it was time to leave. His new CD Youth comes out Tuesday and may be worth checking out.
MONDAY LUNCHTIME EDIT: I just got off the phone with a friend who was asking me about the show. I was telling her about how fun it was to be just smiling like a dork and shouting along in the call and response times and jumping up and down or pogoing when ever I felt like it. The fact that I did all those things should be added into this review. She chuckled a lot saying she wished she coulda seen me pogoing or responsing along. Thing is that, and maybe its just cause I had a great vantage point of the stage where I was, but the musica and definately Matisyahu's stage prescence made all that foolishness just seem natural. And fun as hell.