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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Matisyahu - Concert Review (plus photos)



PHOTOS: SEPTEMBER 22, 2005 - House of Blues, Los Angeles
BAND WEB SITE: http://www.hasidicreggae.com

Concert Review

Matisyahu is a Hasidic Jewish Reggae Superstar. Say that all in one breath. He’s been relentlessly touring the United States and selling out venues along the way. If at any point in your life you’ve ever coined the phrase “never judge a book by its cover,” it would be with him. On the outside he wears what some would call a typical Hasidic Jewish outfit. Complete with the long signature beard, black fedora and two piece suit. It’s when he opens his mouth and spits out the rhymes, that’s when you’re hooked.

Playing to a sold out crowd at the House of Blues (he does not play on the Sabbath, which is from Friday night sunset through Saturday night sundown), Matisyahu entered the stage opening up with “Sea to Sea,” with its laid back bass line set to the mood of a crowd that swayed back and forth in syncopation. The combination of chanting and reggae roots showed Matisyahu in perfect harmony with his faith and music. In between songs the band took time to break into jamming sessions as Matisyahu stood back and admired his backing band.

The highlight of the evening came when Matisyahu returned to the stage with the lights dim and the audience waiting. As the crowd stood in anticipation, he broke into “Beat Box Song,” which was the crowning moment of the entire night. Matisyahu let the music speak literally straight from his mouth as the crowd cheered and felt every beat. The fact that he followed it up with his new single “King Without a Crown” just added the cherry to double scoop of ice cream sundae. Little talking was done, except for a small sermon where he explained to the audience his beliefs and how he had flown out his wife and new born baby to Los Angeles. For Matisyahu, his dedication to his belief and his spirituality is reflected with his soulfulness in the music he so graciously exhibits. Keep in mind, this is no Harry Potter book kids. This is Matisyahu.

-Mike Takahashi


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