Matt Nathanson @ The Fillmore (11/2/07)

The summer months were not only a bit hectic for me this year, but there weren't all that many shows to get excited about either, so after a bit of a drought, I made it up to the Fillmore about a week ago to catch a rising signer-songwriter, Matt Nathanson.

The fact of the matter is that this guy has been 'rising' for at least the past 8 years. I was first turned on to Matt by a co-worker back in 1999 when Matt was playing local SF Bay Area coffee shops. Over the years, he's been steadily growing his fan base and either opening for bigger and bigger names, or headlining bigger and bigger venues. Last night was by far his biggest headlining venue that I've seen him perform at so far -- with a sell-out crowd none-the-less!

Over the years, Matt's been over shadowed by the likes of David Gray and John Mayer, but at least in my opinion, Matt's day as a full-blown pop-rock star are coming close at hand. The crowd at the Fillmore was a strange mix of 15 year old girl groupies, young gay/lesbian couples, young professionals, and then a random grouping of 40/50 year olds -- perhaps the teenage crowd's parents?

Opening the show was Ingrid Michaelson who was pretty entertaining and had a voice that reminded me a bit of Tori Amos, but her lyrics were definitely not as emotionally acute as Tori's. Next up was a four (or was it a five) piece band that was ultra poppy -- Melee -- I listened for about 10 minutes and thought my time was better spent seated at the bar instead of listening to these guys. They were fine performers, but just not my cup of tea.

So one thing I have to say about Matt, is that he talks. He talks a lot in between songs. He likes to go off in little tangents. And he loves to reference classic late-80's rock songs. This time, he even broke out into a classic Whitesnake song, "Here I Go Again", one of my personal favorites -- not to mention my very first live concert (Whitesnake at the Spectrum 4/14/90, with Steve Vai on lead guitar & Bad English as the opening band!) Anyway, this was one heck of a crowd pleaser as it became a huge sign-along between Matt & the audience.

Later in the show, Matt once again felt his roots and broke out into some Journey, check out the video:

Overall, a fun show if you're looking for a good date-concert. Matt's a riot and a fun performer to see live.

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