March 9, 2015 in 101 Things To Do List, 50 Concerts, Entertainment, Live Music, Music

Like we were just kids…

#46 Go to 50 concerts of 50 different bands/musicians (4/50)

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Concert 4:

03/07/2015 at The Moore (Seattle, WA)

Mat Kearney with Special Guests Judah the Lion and Parachute

I’ve been listening to Mat Kearney since 2005-ish. In my college years I had become an Aware Records Rep. This included promoting musicians, bands, and sometimes movies and even gum (yes, gum!). There were a lot of perks to being an Aware Rep. Free concert tickets, free autographs swag, feed CDs (often advance copies) and money. It was a great deal for someone like me. I loved music and live music was my drug. Unfortunately as a college student at a private university, I wasn’t exactly rolling in the dough so free tickets = win! Big WIN!

Promoting Mat Kearney was one of the projects I took on. Aware had sent me a copy of his first album and I liked his sound. He was different than most singer-songwriters I had discovered. He had a hip-hop feel to his music, but yet not quite entirely hip hop. It was like spoken word, meets pop, meets rock, meets singer songwriter, meets…I don’t even know, folk? Anyways, next thing I know, Aware has sent me 300+ copies of the chicago ep to hand out around Seattle at shows and at records stores, coffee shops and etc. I think overall I handed out 1000+ of those. They went quick at most places and at shows people seemed to appreciate the freebie. And we know what happened to Mat…10 years later and I’m seeing him at a sold out show at The Moore in Seattle. He pretty much has sold out almost every show since 2006, so this wasn’t a surprise. He’s from Eugene, OR so he’s a Pacific Northwest local. Lots of support.

So how did I end up at this show? I lucked out. My friend Allison had an extra ticket. It turns out her friend couldn’t go so she texted me a couple weeks ago and asked if I was up for it. I of course jumped at the chance. I had missed my opportunity to buy a ticket as I just bought a new car a few months ago and had foot surgery, so like college times…extra money is scarce. But I digress, I ended up at this show out of the pure awesomeness of a friend. Since she was providing the ticket, I provided the transportation. I was running a bit late so we got there right before the first band, Judah and the Lion, took the stage. We had balcony seats, and it was GA, and we were late, so basically we were pretty high up there. It wasn’t bad though. We had a great view and the sound up there was amazing. No complaints.

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As mentioned, Judah and the Lion was the first band of the night. I looked them up that day before the show. They were from Nashville, TN and apparently live really close to Mat. I would describe their music as americana rock. I liked them. I have to admit that while I looked them up, I didn’t listen to anything so I can’t tell you what songs they played but I can tell you that they enjoy performing and that carries though. Each instrument had a crisp clear sound (not like an apple or anything, but they just rang clear through the crowd) and I enjoyed the addition of the mandolin and accordion.

Next up was Parachute. I remember seeing them open for Kelly Clarkson. I loved that album Losing Sleep. I listened to it for months straight. I even went out to meet them after their set. Super sweet guys. I think the last time I saw them play was while they were promoting Losing Sleep. I know they have toured the area for their other albums but the stars didn’t align for the most recent tour. Since it had been awhile I was ready to be won over again, and they did not disappoint. They were energetic and fun. Will is a great front man. They played a few songs I knew but the majority were unfamiliar to me. (Sorry Guys!) I did play catch up and grab the latest album off iTunes if that makes up for it. I also gave Will a big hug after the show, or rather he went in for the hug with a huge smile on his face and I couldn’t resist. You can’t say no to that face haha

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Then it was time for the main event! Judah and the Lion were fantastic at starting off the night but I was ready for some Mat Kearney. The crowd reacted instantly when the lights went down and as bodies came in to view it only got louder. Mat walked in with a swagger, I normally wouldn’t use that term but he really did. It was a pretty smooth walk out right into his music. For his first song, he performed only vocals. He would pick up his guitar and even play some keys later on. But to start, he was walking the stage singing and interacting with both the crowd and his band.

He played a mix of music from all his albums, and not just one off of each of the first 4 but a few off of each including: Undeniable, In the Middle, Nothing Left to Lose, Count on Me, Ships in the Night, Just Kids, Heartbreak Dreamer and a bunch more. He also invited Judah and the Lion out to do a cover of Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars. Their version was pretty rad. I never thought that a americana rock/soul version of that sound would be as amazing as it was but the mandolin and banjo fit perfectly with Mat’s and Judah’s vocals. I loved Just Kids and In the Middle was as always, infused with emotion. Closer to Love remains one of my favorites live just because the crowds always seem to respond so well to it. I was hoping he would play Chicago but alas, that is still just a dream. I haven’t heard that song live in quite awhile and it looks like that will continue to be the case. C’est la vie.

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I forget what song this was on but at one point Mat got on top of his piano (again) and turned halfway towards the back hiding something behind him. Then, he turned to the crowd holding a disco ball. He held it up as lights were directed at it. He held that thing for a good while during the song. It was entertaining and also had a really cool lighting effect. Later in the set he did a little two step dance routine with his bass player. It seemed practiced but at the same time spontaneous. I don’t care either way, it was great. Then, before we knew it, Mat was wrapping up his set and saying thank you and goodbye. Of course I’ve been to enough shows to know that this wasn’t the final goodbye. There would be an encore, but I was still instantly sad when he walked off to the side of the stage.

We had remained seated throughout the entire set because when people stood it blocked others views, but as people started to leave before the encore I figured it wouldn’t be a huge deal to stand if the chance arose. We continued to sit for the first song of the encore but then, the familiar beat to start of Hey Mama began and I leaned over and said “I’m going to stand for this one!”. After a quick check behind me to see if I would block anyone with my 5’2″ frame and seeing that I would be fine, I stood and started to dance. My friend stood to as did most people in the audience. I mean, you cannot be still while that song is playing. I dare you to try. You might be able to manage to stay seated but there will be seat dancing, butt wiggling and all that good stuff so you might as well stand. Since we were already up we stood for the final song and then, then it was over. I was too happy about how awesome the show was to be sad it was over. Now I can’t wait until the next time I get a chance to see him, and this time I will not hesitate and buy the ticket early.

I can feel it in the way we try
I can feel it in the way we fight
We’re standing side by side
Like we were just kids
– Mat Kearney (Just Kids)

(I’ll add some video clips and more photos when I get a chance. Ive got a little clip of the dancing and Uptown Funk.)

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