Matthew Good and his Band.
I made the trip into Toronto on the train a few days ago meet Nicole and catch Matthew Good and his Band perform live at Massey Hall. By no means the first time I’ve been fortunate enough to see him perform (the first was in 1997 in a free outdoor concert at Mel Lastman Square), it was without a doubt the best; to say the experience was memorable is a horrible understatement.
I’m told by Nicole that he was on the radio in an interview during the day, and was addressing the fact that everyone keeps shouting out requests for songs that the band just doesn’t know; he put together a brand new group of strangers for this tour, and they got only 10 days of rehearsals in before embarking.
So he was joking around quite a bit, and mentioned that the only way that the audience would get to hear certain songs would be if he were to head back out onstage as an encore and do a few by himself, acoustically… and as soon as I heard that, I lost it. “He’s going to do an acoustic encore,” I practically shouted. “I know it!”
After a hasty dinner, we arrived at the venue. Without any prior knowledge of an opening act, we were pleasantly surprised to witness The Spades as they very spiritedly performed music off of their debut double album. Though good as they were, I confess to my heart beating faster when they left the stage… and when before long the lights cut out and the opening strains of “Champions Of Nothing” filled the venue.
He and the band were incredible, and played a number of songs for quite awhile, before heading off the stage in the usual “thank you, goodnight” fashion. The whole (sold out) venue was on their feet, tearing the roof off with applause, and they came back out and played some six or seven additional songs. Then they all left again, and a bunch of stupid people actually started leaving.
Then it happened – an acoustic guitar gleamed just offstage, and Matthew returned by himself, and administered the killshot in the form of a couple of acoustic songs, “Strange Days” and “True Love Will Find You In The End”.
It was stellar beyond words, in every way. The venue was incredible, the sound amazing, and the energy was off the charts, resulting in the most incredible performance I’ve seen in years. I really hope they were recording last night, it’ll be a disc to be reckoned with.