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03 September 2011 @ 08:05 pm
Bp's Song of the Week #127: Matt Nathanson "Mercy" (live)  
I don’t do that much traveling for shows, not like I used to for Rush at least. I’ve expanded my scope a little bit in the past few years for Trans-Siberian Orchestra, so when Matt Nathanson announced dates for his All Night Noise 2011 Tour and Springfield, MA was the closest date, I knew I had to make the trip. It became even better when a great friend, Chris, who I met through Rush almost 20 years ago, drove down from Boston and we made a day of it.

Matt Nathanson - “Mercy” (live – Agawam, MA, Aug. 25, 2011)

This was my first headlining Matt show, albeit a somewhat truncated one at only 75 minutes, having only seen him open for O.A.R. a few years ago. Before the show we had the opportunity to say hello and as soon as he saw my Def Leppard shirt he excitedly asked if it was from the new tour and I brought up that I’d worn it because I knew that “Photograph” played a pivotal role in his musical upbringing (as it did mine) and we chatted about that. I already knew that he was extremely down to earth, but it was so much fun to talk to him (something we weren’t really supposed to do during this ‘shake-sign-snap’ meet and greet, but it wasn’t us, he wouldn’t stop talking!). He’s the kind of person you could just sit and discuss music with for hours. After a quick photo, a signature on my HITS magazine, it was just about time for the show.

Matt’s latest record, Modern Love, which was released in June, is his 8th record, and one of my favorite albums of the year so a set list heavy with those songs was perfect for me. It also featured a few from his previous record, Some Mad Hope, including his platinum selling single, “Come On Get Higher,” a gem from the past, a rousing version of “I Fought the Law,” an impromptu minute of “Ace of Spades,” and some humorous in-between song banter equaled a well-constructed set list and an excellent show. As he’s known to do, in a similar fashion to U2, he will throw in lines from others songs and artists into his own material and did so with Florence & the Machine, Depeche Mode, and even Cee-Lo Green. He has an energetic and engaging stage presence that comes very naturally. The music doesn’t just flow out of him, but also through him as his somewhat awkward looking movements become endearing and are a result of his release of energy – he truly gets into the performance.

This week’s song kicked off Matt’s set and set the tone for a festive evening. It’s a favorite of mine from the new album, and a household favorite as well, my kid’s love the song! It has a funky little groove and it’s infectious. Play at maximum volume and get your groove on to one of my favorite artists of the last few years.

More Matt Nathanson from this show:
Pretty the World (with F&tM’s Dog Days are Gone)
Wedding Dress
Drop to Hold You

More Matt Nathanson:
Suspended (live)
Banter – Def Leppard’s “Armageddon It” (absolutely hilarious!)
Gone (live)
Car Crash (live)