Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Concert Review: Matt Nathanson @ Jammin' Java, Vienna, VA- 5.23.2011

Last night, I was a VIP.  Well, not exactly, but it was fun to think like that.  In support of his upcoming cd, Modern Love, Matt Nathanson has been announcing "Super Secret Mailing List Only" in small venues just days before the concert.  Last week, one such show was announced for Jammin' Java and thanks to some awesome friends, we were able to get tickets!

Matt Nathanson is one of my favorite musicians to see live.  I used to be able to see him nearly annually, however, tour dates have been few and far between the last couple of years.  In my opinion, Matt Nathanson is at his best performing solo.  I just really love his songs when everything is stripped away besides the acoustic guitar.  Additionally, the story telling really ramps up at these types of shows.  For those who don't know, the pre-song banter at a Matt Nathanson concert is worth the price of admission alone.  It's like seeing a comedy show wrapped inside a concert.

Let's get to the highlights!  First, the older songs.  I don't think it's uncommon, that when you're a fan of an artist for a long period of time, to have a special place in your heart for the songs that first hooked you as a fan.  Some musicians leave these songs behind as they evolve.  However, last night Matt Nathanson pulled out some gems from earlier reconds.  One of my favorites "More Than This" made an appearance.  "Bent", with an "Anna Begins" ending was stunning.  Later in the set, Matt Nathanson and his guitarist Aaron played "Amazing Again".  This was my favorite part of the show.  Matt forgot the lyrics and the entire crowd helped him out and sang just about the entire song.  You could tell he was touched that so many people new the lyrics. 

The reason why I love Matt Nathanson, is that I connect to his lyrics on a personal level more than any one else.  I wasn't sure if this would carry over to his new songs.  I'm happy to say, that at least for me, it has.  Matt and Aaron played a total of five new songs.  My favorites were "Room At The End of the World" and "Kept".  He introduced "Kept" by saying, "This song is about, seeing a house on fire and having the urge to run into it... It's a happy little jam."

The highlights didn't stop with the songs.  Like I said, the banter was hilarious.  Topics discussed included Matt's turn on's and turn off's, the 12 year-old girl in the audience, Pittsburgh & Hockey (thanks to Teresa), and the difference between a misogynist and a masocist.  Obviously, a hilarious and entertaining night.

You'll probably love Matt Nathanson's music if you get the chance to make it to one of his concerts, but even if you don't you'll have a great time laughing!  The new songs sounded great live, so I can only imagine that they are just as good on the new album.  Visit Matt Nathanson's website where you can pre-order the album.

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