A minor case of the sniffles was not enough to stop
Matisyahu from delivering Thursday night at The Lensic.
Dubbed “An Acoustic Evening With Matisyahu,” the heartfelt and honest performance was just that.
Dressed in simple jeans, a T-shirt and a billowy scarf around his neck, the former Hasidic Jew inconspicuously took to the stage to introduce his opening act, Levi Robin, and then sat down to the right hand of the stage to enjoy his opener’s show like, as we would say in Old México, “como hijo de vecino.” (Literal translation: “like your neighbor’s son” / lose meaning: like a commoner—though you have to admit it’s trippy to imagine your neighbor’s son sitting on the Lensic stage, just chillin’).
In December 20122 Matisyahu (“Gift of God”) tweeted his new, clean-cut look along with the message:
“No more Chassidic reggae superstar. Sorry folks, all you get is me...no alias.”
Much like Jennifer Grey post nose job, there’s just something odd about seeing him sans the beard, yarmulke and curly peyos; though it was clear a couple of songs into his set that the father of three is now truer to himself than ever.
I was seated next to a lady who I believe is the singer’s mom…who knows.
She was rocking a VIP badge and had some great insider information which she shared with her friend in attendance (and that my satellite dishes for ears picked up). Tidbits like how the retro stools on stage were found at a thrift shop for $20 a pop. “They don’t go up and down, but hey do swivel,” she shared; and how the rugs placed on the stage were purchased that day at Wal-Mart. “The glamorous life of a rockstar, huh?” she said.
The crowd was receptive and dedicated—and by the sounds of
the hollering and heckling, it’s fair to say at least a third of them were
Having the time of their life, audience members lost it on several occasions.
He just uttered our town’s name? Wow! Hold on, he’s beatboxing? Holy shit! The cello player just went into a plucking solo? HAND ME SOME FUCKIN’ DEPENDS LIKE RIGHT NOW!!
At one point, one attendee shouted an odd request: “Mambo No. 5.”
After a rousing, unplugged rendition of “King Without a Crown,” the performer paused for an impromptu Q&A sesh.
Questions ranged from the current approach to his “religiuous roots,” how he handles his overall awesomeness and of course, the de rigueur, “What’s your favorite town to play in?”
His answer, of course, was Santa Fe.
The sauced-up crowd again lost it in a scene reminiscent of
Featured image via Matisyahu's Instagram.