Review: Matisyahu at the Brown Theatre

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Besides putting on a great concert, Matisyahu is very kind to his fans. This was definitely one of the most interesting audiences I have sat in. There was one obnoxious lady in particular that kept whooping, dancing around, and singing. It was quite annoying after a while. Matisyahu was very cool about the audience’s ‘weirdness’ as he put it. There was a question and answer session half way thru Matisyahu’s set where anyone in the audience could ask him questions. Some asked legitimate questions, some down right silly, and others just wanted to express their affection. A few of the Q&A questions:

Question: “So I notice when you are singing you do a lot of movement. Can you explain as to… are you just feeling the music or?”

Matisyahu: “It’s new for me. It’s a new thing I am trying out.”

Question: “Is it?”

Matisyahu: “Yeah, I used to sit totally still with my eyes closed. (Demonstrates) I mean rock shows are different. There I dance, but acoustic shows I used to be afraid of the audience. I’d close my eyes, like this and not move. Then recently I was like somewhere and I said, ‘oh it feels good to move.’ It feels good to move. Sitting in the dark I’m going to incorporate that.”

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Question: “I was wondering. I am a high school music teacher, and I was just wondering what your music background was? Is it something you just stumbled into or you’ve been musical all your life? Did you have any training as a child? How’d you get into it?”

Matisyahu: “I’ve been stumbling all my life. I stumbled into it, and I still stumble it feels around it, wrestling, rolling around with it. But um, so anyway I have no background. None. Zip. Zilch. Zero. I tried to play the trumpet. They tried to stick me on the tuba. That was the instrument they wanted me to play. The tuba. Anyway 4th grade or whatever we would go to you know that band where you get to choose your instrument. They wanted to put me on the tuba. I love the tuba, but I just don’t think I’m… whatever.”

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Question: “I’d like to know. How does it feel without your beard on?”

Matisyahu: “How does it feel? It kind of feels the same. Like you get used to having a beard and you don’t feel it unless it’s raining or the wind is up.”

Question: “I mean how is the transformation?”

Matisyahu: “Oh like, the transformation, it’s been good. I don’t like shaving very much.”

Question: “Is it the first time you’ve shaved your beard?”

Matisyahu: “Well first time in ten years. I’ve been shaving I guess, I don’t know, since I hit puberty. It was more than 10 years ago.”

One lady wanted to get on stage and dance which she was denied. Although three other young ladies managed to get permission to come on stage, give him a kiss on the cheek, and take a photo. At one point he even invited a little girl to dance on stage with the band, dubbing her dance moves worthy of audience viewing although she never got the courage to. I liked his album Youth back in 2006 and followed him for a bit, but after a year or so I lost track and interest in what he was doing. This concert rekindled my support for his music and a new found fondness for the person behind the music.

Photos: courtesy of Matisyahu’s Facebook page by Javier Gil & Lucero Salinas

About Anna Blanton
Anna Blanton holds a Bachelors of Arts in Music (violin) and a Minor in Marketing from the University of Louisville. Anna currently plays with the Paducah Symphony, folk rock band- Field of Kings, and fuzz/folk rock band- Jack Holiday and the Westerners. From 9-5 she is the Development Information Manager at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. She is also a Production Assistant for the Beatles festival, Abbey Road on the River.
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