Matisyahu keeps Vancouver fans smiling at the Commodore

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      The Jewish people are revered for their robust work ethic. A true stereotype or not, that quality was sure as hell on display last night (August 8) at the Commodore.

      For a crowd that didn’t quite fill the iconic venue but was definitely comprised of true fans, the Hasidic Jew born Matthew Miller—better known by his Hebrew name Matisyahu—let loose with a performance that would best be described as a blast.

      The MC’s set lasted a full two and a half hours, during which time the music rarely stopped. When Matisyahu wasn’t front and centre, rhyming, singing in soulful harmony, or beat boxing, his band, Dub Trio, was losing itself in improvised sessions that stretched for as long as 20 minutes. With the group’s trademark mix of rock, rap, and reggae, one track often flowed seamlessly into the next.

      Sporting a tight Adidas jacket and Nike kicks that would make Entourage’s Turtle jealous (not to mention payot sideburns and tzitzit strings), Matisyahu confirmed his status as the world’s coolest religious figure.

      When a fan proudly donning dreadlocks jumped over the Commodore’s security guards, Matisyahu happily gave the guy a handshake and stepped back to let him stagedive into the crowd.

      Making a conscious effort to make eye contact with every member of the audience that he could, Matisyahu made it clear to everyone in attendance that he truly appreciated their coming out.

      There was even a performance of “Jerusalem”, a fan favourite and hit single, but now a track that is seldom played live.

      The show wasn’t perfect for everybody. If you weren’t into those jam sessions, some did stretch on a little long. And a lot of new material was played that the audience couldn’t have been familiar with, which caused the energy level to flag at times.

      But for those that showed up for Matisyahu and Dub Trio’s highly original blend of genre-twisting music and feel-good vibes, that’s exactly what they got.

      Here’s a bit of the evening.

      A stretched out take on “Motivate” from 2009’s Light album.

      A new song (at least not a track that appears on the Youth or Light albums) with Matisyahu rhyming over the heavy drone of a bass guitar.

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      Dave O

      Aug 9, 2010 at 6:06pm

      Great photos Krug!

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