Known mostly for being a Hasidic Jew, Matisyahu (born Matthew Paul Miller) has received lots of praise from the reggae world in the short time he’s been around. The New York rapper has three albums out and a few remix EPs. The last studio album released was 2006’s Youth but we can expect a new album entitled Light out early next year.
Not to be confused with dancehall, Matisyahu sticks with styles closer to Roots Reggae with rock riffs and beat-boxing in between. On the studio albums the rock and hip hop influence can really be heard but live, reggae takes the spotlight. “Live at Stubbs” is one of my favorite reggae albums and believe me, good reggae is hard to come by these days.
There were no surprises for me at this show. The crowd was filled with hippies and hip hoppers but you don’t have to be either to appreciate the music. According to the set list, there were 28 songs to be played (set list below) but we only went through about half. I was ok with that since most of the tracks are extended to fit in his many, many hums and hollers.
Best parts about Sunday:
– Everything about this show went smooth and on time. I find that The Vic is always good about that. I appreciated it.
– “Youth” – The first time I saw Matisyahu the Youth album wasn’t out yet so I’ve been waiting to hear it live for a while. Yes, it was worth it.
– “King Without a Crown” – Clearly this is the song everyone knows but it still so great. Live performances of this song are always better than what’s featured on the album. (with the exception of “Live at Stubbs” -that by far is the best version)
– The band – Matisyahu‘s band is always amazing. It’s probably the only reason I started listening to him in the first place. Those guys get the job done and they do it well.
Matisyahu has clearly come a long way since the first time I saw him. For some reason this time seemed more official and his performance was more confident. He also gave us a few sweet dance moves.