Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Concert Review: Matt Nathanson @ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC- 9:27.2011

I've been going to Matt Nathanson concerts since my sophomore year in college.  In those seven years and numerous concerts, I've never been disappointed by Matt Nathanson.  Each and every time it's been a blast.  However, going into last night's show, I wasn't convinced it would be the same. To me Still Waiting For Spring and Beneath These Fireworks are quintessential Matt Nathanson albums.  They're all time favorites in my book, and like most artists that make a huge personal impact, their following albums don't exactly measure up.  It makes sense really.  Artists evolve and change just like their fans, and the chances that both are on the same wave length as they were previously, is unlikely.  The last couple of Matt Nathanson albums, I thought were pretty good, but I didn't like them as much as Still Waiting For Spring and Beneath The Fireworks.  To be honest, I didn't know what to expect.

Well, as it turns out, Matt Nathanson still puts on a damn fine show.  The new songs off Modern Love, that I wasn't too fond of, turned out to be gems live.  The old songs were just as good as they were seven years ago.  The night started with "Mercy", a new one.  It was then followed by "Pretty the World" a perfect song to get the night going.  For the better part of the evening the band alternated between old and new.  One aspect of Matt Nathanson concerts has never changed.  The banter was still hilarious.  A particular favorite was his introduction to "Queen of (K)nots".  Nathanson talked about dating someone, and then realizing they were evil.  He explained, "It's like waking up one Sunday and saying, 'Oh, I'm sorry. I thought I was sitting on computer chord, but it was just your devil tail.... you evil shitty human being.'"  Hilarious right?  But besides being hilarious, his songs and their explanations are about basic human emotions.  Who hasn't felt that way about someone?  Everyone at the show last night seemed to have dated someone they perceived as evil, and that's why Nathanson's music works.

Other highlights included "Kiss Quick" a song I had previously underestimated, an acoustic "Bare" and "All We Are".  "All We Are" was chosen by fans on facebook, as a song they'd like to hear this week.  Matt Nathanson has always been on the forefront of using social media to reach out to fans, and this is just another example.  The set also included covers of "La Bamba", "Here I Go Again", and Prince's "Little Red Corvette."

It turns out my fear of disappointment was unfounded.  The new songs from Modern Love do well when given a live setting to stretch and breathe.  While the style of Nathanson's music has changed, his live shows are still stellar!  Matt Nathanson's tour just started, so make sure to check them out.

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