Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Matt Nathanson Rocks Philly

Matt Nathanson played at World Cafe Live last night in Philly and put on his usual dynamic performance. More about the show in a second, but first a couple of details. Yesterday was the release date for Matt's new live album, At The Point, which was recorded over a four night, sold out stand at The Point, a now closed acoustic music venue just outside the city. Last night's show was broadcast on the radio by WXPN, a station that's given Matt a lot of support over the course of his career.

So the stage was set for a special show, and Matt didn't disappoint the sold out audience. He regularly turns solo-acoustic shows, which can often be fairly subdued affairs, into full-on rock shows. It's hard to describe how he does this, but it has something to do with the combination of his physical guitar playing/singing style, his hilarious on-stage banter and his penchant for theatrical, over-the-top covers of monster rock hits. The latter are always a trip, and he seems to have an endless knowledge of pop and rock songs, both classic and current. He needs to be seen to be fully appreciated, and even if Matt's music doesn't seem like your cup of tea his shows are so entertaining that you'll have a great time anyway.

Though he left the pyro at home this time, Matt still smoked the expansive stage at WCL and had the adoring crowd in the palm of his hand from the moment he walked on stage. He treated us to a lot of his stellar original material (including a preview of new material from his forthcoming studio release) and a couple of covers. He even invited a zealous fan wearing a shaggy, blonde mullet wig to join him on stage for a Journey cover.

Go buy Matt's new live album and see for yourself how he rocks the acoustic guitar like no one else.

Here a little video I took during the show.
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What You Need
More Than This
Car Crash
Lost Myself in Search of You
Church Clothes
Detroit Waves
Angel >
I Saw
Answering Machine
Wide Eyed and Full

Back in 2002, Matt did a solo show at the high school where I work. Here are some audio files from that show.

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Pretty The World (live 10-11-02)
Starfish And Coffee (live 10-11-02)
Living On A Prayer (live 10-11-02)



Blogger heather said...

OOOH! J! I love you even more now, Black Crowes be damned. I have been getting WAAAY into Matt Nathanson lately and listening to all his live stuff. I have Beneath These Fireworks and just ordered one of his older CDs off his website a few days ago. He is excellent live. Thank you for this post and for spreading the love.

April 06, 2006 12:42 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I saw Matt play two shows in Vienna, VA, the night before. You are absolutely correct, his shows are always an absolute treat and he never disappoints.

Did he play "Detriot Waves" or "Car Crash" at the show?? Those two new songs are absolutely the best things that he's ever written... I can't wait for the new album.

Glad you enjoyed the show! I'll send you an email hopefully this weekend when I get back from Macrock (www.macrock.org), a college radio music fest in VA.


April 06, 2006 2:52 PM  
Blogger popscholar said...


I came across you pretty randomly...by doing a google blog search for "Matt Nathanson" and "World Cafe Live." I was at the show too, and was curious to read local bloggers' comments.

Anyway, he was amazing, as always. I mentioned the show briefly on my blog (fugitiveblog.blogspot.com), but didn't go into as much depth as you.

I noticed you're a teacher. So am I. Where do you teach around here? And what?


April 07, 2006 3:38 PM  
Blogger Honey said...

Hello! I'm so happy that there's so much Matt Nathanson love in the world. I also went to the Jammin Java show (late show) and I have videos up on my blog, including Answering Machine, Car Crash, Bent, Curve of the Earth, and Matt being ranchy in the beginning of the show. Also, the Jammin Java shows are available for download on archive.org, if you're interested.

April 07, 2006 7:34 PM  

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