Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Matt Nathanson lights up the 40 Watt

Anyone who attended college from 1996 to present day is familiar with the name Matt Nathanson. This was apparent in the famous college town of Athens, GA on a chilly Monday evening. The legendary 40 Watt Theater, which has housed bands such as R.E.M., B-52’s, and George Clinton and the P-Funk, was abound with undergrads in UGA hats and underagers with fake ID’s. The red and blue Christmas lights that hang across the ceiling, reflected off girls’ oversized earrings to show the anticipation for the young and ruggedly handsome singer to appear. And appear he did, to a crowd of youthful faces with a ratio in the favor of the boys.

Matt Nathanson has always been best known for his live performances, where he wins the heart of his audience by humor filled dialogues and crass jokes. He’s not afraid to make fun of his fans as if he is teasing his crush on the playground, and he’s not afraid to use profanity for emphasis or use the F word to make his point. It is this kind of down home wit that had his newest album Some Mad Hope, the number one album on iTunes the first week it was released. It is this kind of relatable personality that put his first single Car Crash on VH1’s Top 20 Countdown. After a few songs from his previous album Beneath These Fireworks, he begins his song Princess, and before long, segues into the 80’s favorite Jessie’s Girl, which the crowd loves. Even though the song was released before half the crowd was even born, it is an instant hit. After a few slower songs that Matt ‘gives you permission to make love to’, the band becomes re-energized with Pretty the World and gives spark to the second half of the show, where an Angel/I Saw mash-up became the most intense moment of the night.

Throughout the show, Matt Nathanson covered many songs including Delilah, La Bamba, and even the Bert and Ernie classic Rubber Ducky. It is this odd sense of self-establishment that makes Matt Nathanson as successful as he is sure to become. Pretty soon he will go from college dive bar, to large venues with opening acts and a double encore. See him while you can, and get close to the stage for the full facial expression effect. The next time he comes into town it might be too late because you’ll be sitting in the balcony watching through squinted eyes. His new mantra (courtesy of the 40 Watt bathroom wall) is this: ‘Anyone can piss on the floor, but be a hero and shit on the ceiling’. Well, maybe not Matt’s REAL mantra, but it has some truth to it if you look. Anyone can copy a CD for a friend, but do your friend a favor and drive him to a Matt Nathanson show. For their eyes and ears will never be the same again.

But that's just This Girl talking...