It’s been a great concert month. I have discovered new favorites Muse, Serena Ryder, and Vedera. I finally understand why my friends make U2 concerts a priority. And I have enjoyed the company at every occasion. And it was with such great experiences in recent memory that I pulled up to Workplay Theatre on Saturday night a little unsure.
I have been a fan of Mat Kearney’s music since his first album, Bullet, and have remained along for the ride, evolving right along with him on each album. So, I had no doubts that I would love the music. I was apprehensive, though, perhaps hoping but not expecting something new and original out of this performance. I am happy to report that this night was well worth the time, effort, and ticket price.
Here are some of the highlights:
1) Polished Performance – I’m not sure if it was rehearsal time, the budget, the crew, the energy or all of it combined, but something gave this show some finesse. The lighting design transformed the venue with each element and may have actually transported us all from decade to decade. Intentional or not, there were definite hints of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, but never so much that it didn’t feel new and modern.
2) Mat Kearney’s #1 Fan – It is inevitable – either the tallest or most inebriated individual at a concert will find me, and most of the time this is funny for about a minute before it becomes truly annoying. This time though, I could not complain. The uninhibited gentleman in the forest green corduroy blazer was a true fan. He knew every word to every song, miraculously didn’t end up blocking my view, and was connecting with the music on another level. Of all his moves, my personal favorite was the 2-fingered conducting of sorts.
3) Tyler Burkum – The entire band was great and every player integral to the full-bodied sound of this show, but I don’t think Tyler made it to Birmingham the last time around, so his presence was noticeable. Besides background vocalist and guitarist, Tyler fills the role of sidekick during a show. And I mean that in the best way possible. I especially love the fact that Tyler was in a little band I loved in a past chapter. “No AC and no FM and no regrets…”
4) Friends of the Boss – There is, of course, always room for improvement, but aside from adding “Everyone I Know” to the set list and maybe working in a song or two with Wild Sweet Orange members, the only thing more I could have asked of the night was from the audience! As if closing with a cover of Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” wasn’t enough, Mat even pulled people on stage paying homage to that moment in the video when Courteney Cox Arquette was literally pulled out of the crowd and into stardom. I’m a little disappointed that this moment wasn’t more fully appreciated, and in Courteney’s hometown! I have to complement those on stage for trying, but let’s all work on this for next time guys.
So what are you To Do?
- See a show on this tour if you can.
- Let loose and Dance in the Dark a little.
- Check out Vedera. (I really loved them, and I am thorougly enjoying their recently released album.)