Live: Matisyahu (10-23-12)

Live: Matisyahu (10-23-12)

Date: Tuesday, October 23rd. 2012
Line-up: Matisyahu, Naked Jane, Sidereal
Location: Florida Theater. Gainesville, Florida

Currently on tour around the nation, Tuesday, The Pier got another opportunity to catch Matisyahu, this time headlining his 2012 fall tour. Supporting the summer release of his fourth studio album, Spark Seeker, Matisyahu, along with the Dub Trio, played a spirited two-hour set, full of new tracks and beloved hits.

The show began with an hour of jams from two regional bands. Jacksonville’s Sidereal, the night’s opener, was the highlight of the first half. They played a tight 30-minute set, showcasing a list of brand new tunes from their forthcoming record. Having currently released the single and accompanying music video for “Before I Go,” Sidereal has been in production and gearing up for their first tour with Jay D Clark.

Around 10:30pm, the lights dimmed and a slow, electro-classical backing track started to play, as the few lone stage lights began to slowly move their beam around the crowd. The Spark Seeker, backdrop fell into place and the Dub Trio band took their spots in nearly pitch black darkness. Known for their dubbed out tracks, the Dub Trio opened the set, spotlighting their skills with an eight-minute dub interlude. The piece was trippy, starting with all three artists playing electro-beats using electric drums and synths. More and more guitar, bass and percussion were slowly added as the piece intensified, until six-minutes in, Matisyahu crept out.

The crowd screamed, but he didn’t take center stage. Clearly enjoying the Dub Trio’s intro he mouthed, “keep going,” and watched in the side shadows, as they played for a couple more minutes. Then all of a sudden the strobe lights flashed, and Matisyahu began the song ”Crossroads.”

Matisyahu took the crowd on a journey. He played a modern hip-hop heavy set for the first 20-minutes. He then went into a more traditional Matisyahu sound, beat boxing, and chanting till the first hour peaked with ”Jerusalem.” Then, taking off his hat, glasses and jacket, the band slowed down the tempo for a while. Towards the end of the set, Matisyahu brought out his friend from Israel, Daniel Zumier, to join in on clarinet for an impressive version of “Kodesh.” The clarinet interlude easily made this song a true highlight of the set. Finishing out the set strong, the band ended with “Sunshine,” and then the song everyone was waiting to hear, “King Without a Crown.”

Before going into “King Without a Crown”, Matisyahu recounted the time way back in 2005, when he was doing his first shows around the nation. He explained how Gainesville was the first city to drop him when he stage dived, teaching him a very important lesson. “Always make eye contact with the crowd before stage diving!” Laughing, he then warned he’ll give the crowd another chance. The song started up and everyone went wild.

Personally, I love “King Without a Crown,” not for Matisyahu’s epic stage dives during it, but while Matisyahu rolls around the crowd, the Dub Trio really turns it up. They are brilliant the entire set, but very impressive during this piece.

After a short break, the band came out for one more. They ended with “One Day” and, as Matisyahu famously does, he filled the entire stage with members of the audience for a sing-a-long. As the last note of the track rang out, Matisyahu, turned, jumped onto the hands of the crowd from the stage, and he crowd surfed away. It was by far, the coolest stage exit I have ever seen!

Matisyahu Set List:
Smash Lies
Close My Eyes
Live Like a Warrior
Bal Shem Tov
Shine on You
One Day

Article By: Aaron Solomon
Photos By: Destiny Johnson

Check out more of the photos from the night!