What I did on Thursday Aug 12, 2004.
By Greg Fox
Thursday was a big day. I was supposed to go see one of my favorite artists play. Matthew Good had a 3 show deal here in Victoria at the Upstairs Cabaret, and all shows sold out. I wasn’t too surprised by that, but in some ways I was.
The festivities started early for me. While going home I happened to walk through Bastion square, where the Upstairs Cabaret is located, I could hear some muffled music. Instantly I could tell it was a live band, but what was a live band doing playing on a Thursday at 4:30? As I was walking I recognized the music, then it hit me. It was Matthew Good. 🙂 He was doing his sound check, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time to catch part of it.
The opening act (Wil) was awesome! He plays an acoustic guitar like no one else I have ever heard. He was backed by a drummer, and had some incredible songs. I shall definitely check him out again. I also want to buy his disc when I can find it.
I had been to the Upstairs previously for a concert, and it was extremely hot. Thankfully they had remedied that situation, and installed some fans to blow air in. I parked myself under one of those until I started to get a chill.
As Matt Good took the stage I prepared to get blown away. Honestly though, I was a little let down. He didn’t have a very good stage presence, and frankly he looked bored to be up there. I love his music very much, but his performance was a little disappointing. Most of the songs he played sounded like they came straight from the disc. He spent most of the time playing tunes from his new CD, but he did cover some of the older songs that are crowd pleasers. I just found that his style that night was too slow to really get the crowd going. When the set ended, I kind of half hoped he wouldn’t come out for an encore. Overall he seemed very flat.
One thing that I kept noticing was all the awesome picture opportunities. The backlighting, the smoke, the colored lights all made for what could have been amazing pictures. Then there were some of the people in the crowd. In particular there was this one chick who had her digital camera there. Every few minutes she was snapping a pic. Unfortunately she doesn’t know how to use a camera, and she left it in full auto mode. Every time she took a pic the red-eye reduction gizmo blinked a few times, then the camera blinded everyone with a bright flash. I hope she enjoys her pics, but she was really annoying me!
So, in the end I have seen Matthew Good play a few times now, and although I like his music, his live shows aren’t that great. I think that the next time he comes to town I will think long and hard about whether I will go. Most likely I won’t.