One of the first things Matthew Sweet said to the audience at
Schuba's was "Welcome to my house" and it was kind of
appropriate because the concert room at Schuba's can almost be
likened to a large basement. It's not very big, kinda cozy, with a
bar in the corner. It was a treat for Matthew Sweet fans because he
usually does larger venues, and being the first time I've seen
Matthew Sweet, well, I've got a few things say.
A Concert Review
Coming on stage, Matthew looked like he just woke up. His hair
was tousled and he looked kinda tired, maybe a by-product of the
morning shows he hit earlier, or maybe that's just his everyday
look. Starting with new material off his latest CD, "In
Reverse," there were two major things I observed about Matthew
Sweet during his set and here they are: One - during songs that it
was obvious the crowd knew well, songs like "Girlfriend"
and "Sick of Myself," Matthew was on fire. He would smile,
look at the crowd, and blast out the song with excitement. Two -
during songs that it was obvious most of the crowd didn't know well,
Matthew seemed tentative. Don't get me wrong, his voice was still
great and guitar playing right on, but the underlying energy wasn't
the same. He would rarely make eye contact, usually having his eyes
closed or looking down, and the songs, at least for me, didn't have
the energy and fire I think they could have had. Just my two main
observations. Oh, wait, sorry, one more - I thought there was too
much bass, at least for my location in the room.
Music-wise I'm liking Matthew Sweet more and more even if I don't
know some of the songs he plays. Guitar driven with a good mix of
keyboards, he mixes just enough rock sound with some softness, and
on those songs where he had the emotion machine rolling he ranked
right up there in terms as a performer, although I was almost
flabbergasted (that's not a word you read everyday is it?) when he
started announcing the band members 50 minutes into the show and I
was figuring he'd be done in under an hour (a big no-no in my
opinion, especially from a headliner, much less a singer who had no
opening act like this night), then wrapped up the set with
"Sick of Myself" with an almost never-ending ending.
Little did I know he liked to encore, and encore he did. Two of
them, three songs each, and magically, through great versions of
"We're the Same", "Faith in You," and the crowd
requested "Evangeline" among others, Matthew Sweet's 55
minute show turned into nearly two hours.
Other than thinking that Matthew needs to be a little more
energetic on the songs the crowd didn't know, I thought the show was
alright. Maybe it was just a little off night for him. I was kinda
bummed, though, because with the high level of bass most of the
guitar soloing was getting washed out, but maybe it was because it
was the bass dudes birthday, so along with the shots given on stage,
well, maybe they kicked the bass up a notch. Either that or I needed
to find a better spot to listen in the room. Oh well.
I was teetering with a one thumb-upper for this review because I
thought Matthew Sweet could have worked the crowd more, but I revert
back to the crowd reaction at the end of his set and first encore -
they wouldn't let him leave, and he gladly obliged by coming back.
So, it's TWO "I DIDN'T THINK 'SICK OF MYSELF' WAS EVER GOING TO
END" THUMBS UP!
That's it for this one! I'm The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!