On Wednesday July 13th, Matisyahu and his opening act, Tea Leaf Green, performed in the Egyptian Room of Old National Centre. Up until the week of this concert, my experience with Matisyahu was pretty minimal. I had heard random Matisyahu songs and had a general idea of who he was, but then I won tickets (Thanks to Naptown Buzz!) to his concert, and it was fabulous. I was not exactly sure what to expect, but I came home pleased with what I had seen and heard. This Hasidic Jewish musician put on a show that had something for everyone from hipsters, forty-somethings, to families with kids – all types of people were represented at the concert and appeared to enjoy it as much as I was. The eclectic crowd made for an EXCELLENT opportunity for people watching.
The opening act, Tea Leaf Green, set the mood for the evening with an energizing opening set. Their music had subtle hints of other famous rock artists such as The BeeGees and GooGoo Dolls, not to mention a little incorporation of a punk sound.
An hour and a half past starting time, Matisyahu finally took the stage. The setlist included some of his more popular tunes: One Day, King Without a Crown, and Jerusalem – among others. Matisyahu brings a variety of sound to the stage: a classic Jewish sounding singing voice to a Bob Marley-esque reggae sound, beat-boxing to speed rapping, and peaceful sounding beats to more lively and upbeat jams. All of those elements were on stage at this concert and he moved between them rapidly and at times creating a slow build up that had the audience cheering and dancing along. Since this was a standing room concert, being down on the floor really close to the stage allowed us in the audience to see the nuances of all the performers. However, being so close to the stage and with the acoustics of the Egyptian Room, sound quality was often an issue. On more than one occasion the band would overpower the singer and feedback was also a common occurrence.
As a music lover of all kinds, I could definitely appreciate this style of music and would definitely recommend it to others. If anyone has not heard of Matisyahu at this point, I definitely suggest you do yourself a favor and check out his website (http://www.matisyahuworld.com) and stream some of his music. Definitely worth a listen.