Saturday, July 18, 2009

Review: Matisyahu at Crossroads

Well, that was weird.

I discovered that Matisyahu's show would begin ninety minutes earlier than usual just a couple hours before his concert began. I never quite got comfortable Friday after scrambling to get to the venue in time.

Attendance was down accordingly. Only about 600 people were on hand during the star's set. (Much respect to Matisyahu for abiding by his religious convictions, incidentally.) As with the last time I saw Matisyahu, a significant percentage of the audience was there primarily because of their faith affiliation. (It was the first "rock concert" for one fifty-ish man of my acquaintance.)

I was so discombobulated by the situation that I don't even recall Matisyahu playing his signature song "Jerusalem".

He was backed by Dub Trio. That was dope. He was also accompanied by a jam-oriented guitarist and keyboard player. That was dopey.

The 85-minute performance felt like a battle between the two camps. The jam material- especially one awful song that included an "assist" by a member of Umphrey's McGee- was insufferable. A couple extended dub freakouts, however, verged on transcendent.

The novelty angle is fading for Matisyahu. His strong new single, "One Day", serves as further validation that he's undeniably a gifted artist. I just wish, for my own personal taste, that he'd start to distance himself from the jam band thing. Why not drop the Phish infatuation entirely and tour with Damian Marley, Snoop Dogg, Wilco or Willie Nelson?

Maybe then I'd be able to settle in.

I caught Chris Isaak's show Thursday. Here's my review.

Kansas City Click: Gomez return to Kansas City for a Monday show at The Beaumont.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

No comments: