Matt Nathanson has built his career on his live reputation. Last Thursday he closed the second night of Lightning 100’s Live on the Green concert series and he showed the capacity crowd exactly why that is. The stage is clearly his natural habitat. Nathanson sings with his whole body, and while many people there may not have been too familiar with him yet, a passionate performance like that will be hard to forget. I also don’t know too many other artists who refer to their audience as “a crack team of magnificent humans.”
After kicking things off with current single, ‘Mission Bells,’ he took some time to absorb the scene in front of him. The packed Public Square with more than 10,000 music fans enjoying the lovely summer evening must have looked impressive and elicited the compliment, “Nashville knows how to throw down!”
After a trio of songs taken from the 2011 release, Modern Love, Nathanson introduced more brand new songs including the very well received ‘Annie’s Always Waiting.’ Throughout his set, he dove into his back catalog for older fan favorites like ‘All We Are’ and ‘To the beat of Our Noisy Hearts.’ Clearly enjoying himself, he teased the crowd with the ‘Highway to Hell’ riff, and later threw in a cover of Queen and David Bowie’s ‘Under Pressure.’ Platinum-selling hit ‘Come on Get Higher’ rounded things off with a sing-along.
Nathanson did his ‘singer/songwriter/stand-up comedian’ reputation justice. Adjusting his between-song banter for the family audience, ‘Run’ became a song about “two adults playing Scrabble…all night long.” Explaining ‘Noisy Hearts’ as “another female empowerment song,” he went on to state one of several reasons why he is one of my favorite songwriters: “I guess a lot of the female characters in my songs don’t take any shit from anyone.” Quite. And thank you for that!
Matt Nathanson will return to Nashville on October 24 when he will appear at the Cannery Ballroom, as he continues to tour in support of his new album, Last of the Great Pretenders (extremely positive review here!)
For more info and future tour dates, please visit mattnathanson.com.
Annie’s Always Waiting
Room at the End of the World
All We Are
Kill the Lights
To the Beat of Our Noisy Hearts
Come on Get Higher