Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Reggae RockBoxer

I went to a Chabad/JCC hosted Matisyahu Unplugged concert last night. It was in a small theater, seating 500.
(A friend asked me afterward how the pot was, but it wasn't that type of concert.)
I was going to demand a refund if One Day wasn't played, but thankfully no such actions were necessary.
It was just Matisyahu and a guitarist (who was also amazing), and a few times he stopped singing and took questions from the audience. It was a very heimish feel, but in a state of the art music theater.
He told us he wanted to sing a new song he had been working on, and we were the first audience to hear it. Matis kept warning us it might be a flop, and he stopped twice in the beginning because he forgot some lyrics. But he went right on to the main part of the song and it was incredible.
I heard that because of his contract, Matisyahu can only perform acoustic concerts like the one last night, on the side.
The first time I heard him, was about six years ago. I was in yeshiva in Pittsburgh, and Matis was just starting out. Barely anyone had even heard of him. He was staying at a family (Silverman), and doing a small gig in town. The Hanhala of our yeshiva agreed- and if they knew who he was and the music he played, I'm not sure if they would have agreed- to have him give us a private concert. So 40 bochurim crammed into the Silverman's dining room, and Matisyahu was there along with a guy Dugan (?) on bongo drums. He sang and beatboxed, and told us his whole life story. Later, he was selling signed CD's of Shake Off the Dust, standing in the kitchen. I bought one from him, because the music was ok, and I felt kind of sorry for him. It must be hard, needing to sell your CDs in someone's kitchen to some 15 year olds.

The title for my post is from something a lady in the audience said. Her question to Matisyahu was that she was doing a concert review for her college, and she wanted to know what genre of music he'd put himself into. He said it was a good question, and asked her what she thought. She said he's kind of a Reggae RockBoxer (a mix of reggae, rock and roll, and beatboxing).