Monday, June 2, 2014

Matisyahu - Lisner Auditorium - Jun 1st 2014

Matisyahu - Tonight kicks off the 15th Washington Jewish Music Festival, and it starts with a bang in a nearly filled Lisner Auditorium. The last time I was here was over two years back for a couple of shows featuring two of the greats of the Brazilian Tropicalia movement, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. Interestingly enough, tonight's artist is also known for an intriguing blend of genres, like Tropicalia, but more of his own making. I was not familiar with his music until tonight and did not detect too much of his famed reggae style in this acoustic performance featuring his vocals and Adam Weinberg on acoustic guitar. There were some raps and partial raps along with his beatbox vocal skills, which he used frequently, but in small doses (to much applause). Mostly, there were high quality songs featuring delicate guitar with a wide array of styles exhibited. His vocals soared and while not quite hitting Thom Yorke heights, I detected more of Colin Meloy, which may be a fair comparison considering the variety of styles exhibited tonight. And even late on, the guitarist had a fascinating droning rhythm working on a loop that did venture into the subtle psychedelic pastures of Tropicalia. I really enjoyed the newer songs played here tonight and there were moments of real magic. I look forward to hearing his new album. This stripped down 90 minute set showcased a fascinating talent who hopefully will continue to focus his energies in creative ways like what was shown tonight.

Quote of the Night: And to close with another of our 30 harshest musician on musician insults, courtesy of Tom Hawking... (keep reading here and collect them all!)

27. Lily Allen on Cheryl Cole
“Taking your clothes off, doing sexy dancing and marrying a rich footballer must be very gratifying. Your mother must be so proud. Stupid bitch.”

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