Like so many others nights, I truly had no clue what I was walking into when walking into last night’s show at The Myth. The fact that my boss at my day job had mentioned the show and expressed interest in it definitely wasn’t helping my level of optimism and confidence when walking in. That being said, with only one show left this week and a trip back to Iowa for said show which knocks me out of showsing for the weekend, I was going to take what I could get and do it with a smile on my face.
Opening act Filous took the stage without many people even noticing him. Having just turned 21 years old, this kid is super young and, with a much older crowd that clearly doesn’t even try and keep up with the Jones’ when it comes music, it was obvious that majority of the crowd didn’t really even notice someone had taken the stage. Regardless of what was going on around me, my eyes were stuck on the stage as Filous played through his quick thirty minute set full of remixed songs. My favorite track he played was his remix of Gorillaz “Feel Good Inc” featuring LissA. The vocals of the tracks were much more subdued than the original and, when mixed with the pumping bass and other EDM influenced sounds, you were left with a truly original piece of music. Hailing from Vienna, Austria, and being so damn young, Filous is not quite a household name at this point but after seeing his talent live, he’s definitely going to be a thing in the near future.
Second to take the stage was Chicago native, Los Angeles residing, Andrew Belle. Since his debut EP ‘All Those Pretty Lights’ in 2008, Andrew has been a figure in the singer-songwriter scene that has never quite hit it big but also didn’t stay underground. His gravely yet delicate voice makes him stand out in a sea of singer-songwriters all fighting to get to the top. His sound is very wholesome which matches his personality perfectly. With three keyboards scattered across the stage, Andrew and his group made it impossible to ignore them as the waves of sound came crashing over the crowd.
Andrew was definitely a talked and gave the crowd little anecdotes for many of the songs. His way of talking and connecting with the crowd is something that many musicians can only strive for but never quite make it to. Although he seemed well spoken and confident in his words, he also came off as a bit nervous. No, nervous isn’t the word– just very laid back and calm. He urged the crowd to text a number to join his mailing list and for a chance to win a vinyl copy of his new album. After a couple of songs after asking the crowd to do so, Andrew picked a random e-mail for the vinyl. “Tan Yag at Gmail dot com? Tan Yag? Who’s e-mail is Tan Yag!” Then, out of nowhere, the drummer gets on the microphones and said, “Tan Yag? You mean Tanya G?” The entire crowd was rolling with laughter as Tanya made her way to the stage for her prize. Andrew seemed a little embarrassed but went with it admitting that this is something his wife would never let him forget.It’s moments like that that truly humanize these larger than life characters that sing the soundtracks to our lives and something that will never get old for me.
Headlining the Tuesday night show was Mat Kearney, a name that I didn’t think I knew but, within just a couple of songs, recognized from my various indie rock playlists that I keep going when at work. With five albums out and far too many EP’s for me to count, Mat is not a new name in the scene in any way shape or form. The amount of singles this guy has out is ridiculous and, although you may be like me and not recognize his name, you would definitely recognize some of his songs.
His 2006 (reissued in 2007) album ‘Nothing Left To Lose’ is the album that really put him on the map but Mat didn’t seem to dwell on that one album when it came to his set left last night. His nearly twenty song set did a great job of covering his entire career including his hits and some b-sides that it was clear the crowd was not expecting. Clearly there was no mosh pit to write about or that much movement at all but what was going on in the crowd was a bunch of smiles. Mat’s music and groove had a way of putting everyone in the best of moods. With heads bobbing and toes tapping, the crowd sang their way through the set alongside the musician as they swayed with their loved ones in tow (I was probably one of only a handful that had showed up at this show single… oh well).
From the first note of his opening song ‘Hey Mama’ and until the last note of ‘Nothing Left To Lose’ rang out, Mat had a captivating set. There wasn’t a moment that went by when there wasn’t something to see on stage. Whether you were watching Mat, his bassist that had one of the most infectious smiles I have ever seen, or any of his other band members, there was something to see that would have you forgetting it was only Tuesday night and you still had to get up for work the next morning. Although the music wasn’t quite my cup of tea, the music and aura that radiated from the stage and crowd was positive, electric, and completely had me sold.
I walked into last night’s show knowing only that my boss liked Mat Kearney and, let’s be honest, that wasn’t a good sign. I could have pulled the sick card or a flat tire card to get out of driving the twenty minutes to the burbs for this show that was so out of my element but, as I always say, you can’t judge a musician until you see them live. So maybe I won’t be adding any of last night’s artists to my daily playlist but if any of them come back to perform, I will definitely be there.