Matisyahu Shined On

The last time I was at Stubb’s BBQ was for a SXSW event. So needless to say, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen someone play there. That took care of itself last night as I had the pleasure of seeing Matisyahu perform in his now non-Hasidic way. So was the new, lock less, improved Matisyahu still worthy of a great show? Did backing band Dirty Heads warm up the crowd enough? Let’s shed some light on the situation.

Tuesday nights are really good nights for shows. I pulled into a spot about a block away from Stubb’s and didn’t have to pay anything parking fee. For some reason the Red River District is kind to me and my erratic driving. Hey, it beat trying to find a place around the Austin Music Hall/La Zona Rosa. Parking around there is a nightmare. So I was happy to see them move venues and even more happy to get a jalapeno brisket sammich during the show.


The tickets said 7:00 pm so I showed up at 7:20 pm. Usually that meant the opening act was about to start but in my case, we missed out on HB Surround Sound and got the start of Dirty Heads right when we walked in. So let’s talk about these guys. They didn’t impress. It seemed like a late 1990’s Sublime cover band. I just had a real hard time getting into them. It was hit or miss and it didn’t really go anywhere sonically that surprised me. I guess if anything they laid out a pretty good contrast to Matisyahu.


And boy was it ever contrasted. It took about a 2 minutes of impending wind up music for him to get on stage and another couple of minutes of beat boxing before he settled in an a song. It seems at some parts of the show he would go in and out of an overlaid dub like sound to tie in the set as a whole. It seemed very experimental. That’s no problem with me, in fact it was refreshing. It made kicking it to “Sunsine” and the closer “One Day” much easier.

Matisyahu did a decent enough job of mixing in the classics and the new songs by stapling them together was an over dub back wash. I didn’t get all balls to the wall over, but I didn’t leave the show disappointed. Maybe it had something to do with the Dirty Heads, maybe it didn’t. But leaving Stubb’s Tuesday night left me a belly full of bbq, an ear full of chill sounds, and a more enlightened approach to reggae stylings.