Matthew Good played two sold out shows at the very lovely and intimate Myer Horowitz Theater on Sunday and Monday. The shows sold out in record pace, and with the shows being assigned seating (something different compared to last year) it was a mess finding a ticket.
I managed to luck out for both shows and get front row balcony seats at center for the first night and just off to the left of center for the second night. A feat unto itself as some people could not get any tickets let alone ones they desired.
Here are my thoughts for the two nights with Matthew Good and the Nothing to Hide tour.
Sunday, September 23
Following the concert Brad and I tried to figure out what was wrong. We both enjoyed the show but something was missing. Something was off. Something was not right.
The show was enjoyable, Matt’s voice was amazing and the new songs were beautiful in the acoustic setting. So what was wrong?
The March 2006 was the best Matthew Good/Band show we had seen to date. After ten years of seeing him perform and seeing nearly twenty shows we know what to expect, and perhaps seeing so many shows had tainted our point of view?
The setlist was good, but not great. The new songs were done flawlessly live. The triple header intro of Girl Wedged Under The Front Of a Firebird – I’m Not Safer Than a Bank – Champions Of Nothing was a well played introduction to the new material and the night.
There was a nice treat with hearing a brand new song A Silent Army In The Trees which lead into Black Helicopters. This was probably the highlight for me, although hearing I’m A Window was really stellar. I love the upbeat feel to that song.
I really enjoy hearing Load Me Up and Indestructible acoustically, it adds a new element to old songs. And that is where I think this show lacked, there were not a lot of gems. We were treated to the always amazing Fated and Fine Art of Falling Apart, which closed the show, but that was it.
March 2006 had a handsome helping of rarities and that is what made that show stand out. Matthew Good is touring a new record so I should not expect to hear rarities in place of new material but I was looking for more.
To add insult to injury following the show I went to stop the recording and noticed my recorder was turned off. This is never a good sign. Did my hard drive crash? Did I run out of battery power? Did something else go wrong?
I am not sure what happened but before Matthew took the stage I checked all of my connections and saw that I was getting sound from my microphones and I had been recording for six minutes. Shortly after that six minute mark the recording stopped.
This meant that there was more pressure on me to get a recording of the next night and hope Matthew was up to the task of outperforming himself.
Monday, September 24
Was this even the same person playing tonight? This show was leagues ahead of the one on Sunday. There were more interesting songs played, such as North American For Life, Alert Status Red and Hopeless.
There were even different songs from the new album played such as Odette and a Simon and Garfunkle cover. Standout tracks were still Silent Army In The Trees – Black Helicopters and Fated.
Even the inbetween song banter was a little more lively and had some variety to it. Matthew’s ability to go from talking about outsourcing to slavery and the Roman’s is a skill on its own. When Matthew comes back in 35 years with his Big Band Revue I will be all of that and we can talk about Rascals and how to get better battery life out of them.
Monday night was an improvement on every aspect. New covers, different songs and repeated songs were played in a different order. Chad had raved at how good the Red Deer show was. Unfortunately, in his opinion, the Edmonton ones did not live up to what he had witnessed on Saturday. That is the way it goes with multiple shows in a province, you can never predict when the show will be better than the last.
The opening act, Dala, needs to be mentioned here. These two girls from Ontario were amazing. Their harmonies were spot on, they had great songs and their two guitars sounded wonderful. It is a real treat to have an opening act that you look forward to hearing. Brad bought their CD and their live talents are evident in the studio.
After seeing their performance on Sunday I made sure to record them on Monday night. They played a quick thirty minute set that featured similar songs to the night before but also made sure to have different introductions to songs and change up their conversations between songs.
The crowd was also different between the two nights. On Sunday the crowd was really quiet and at times all you could hear was Matthew playing and nothing else. Monday night I found the crowd louder and applauded more. I did find it interesting that the crowd gave Matthew two standing ovations on Sunday but only one last night. Still, he deserved those ovations for a job well done.
Once Matthew finishes touring Hospital Music who knows when he will be back again. Edmonton has been spoiled with his yearly tours that occasionaly feature multiple shows and I hope that he comes back soon.
Right Click > Save As to listen to “Silent Army In The Trees’ from last night.