Matisyahu was booked to give a discussion and unplugged performance at CU Boulder Wednesday night.
However, students got more than their $1 tickets worth at this event.
The reggae/rapper gave a quick read of the crowd and turned the performance into a concert — with a few questions tossed in for good measure. Matisyahu just plowed into material from his new CD.
Matisyhau was accompanied at the CU performance by electric guitarist Aaron Dugan.
The duo melded their sounds perfectly and the plugged-in guitar notes added just the right punctuation to the reggae and rap driven songs.
Matisyahu started out slowly, as he perched on the edge of his stool, but by the third tune he was on his feet and really feeling the lyrics and beats of his new material. His amazing vocal beatbox improvisations just fueled the fire of this performance.
This is why people pay the big money to see this guy in concert.
CU students got a sneak preview of material from Matisyahu’s upcoming release “Light,” and the artist played several crowd pleasers like “Smash Lies” from his “Shattered” CD.
Forget the discussion part of this event, Matisyahu just let his powerful, consciousness-rising tunes ride over the crowd.
After 45 minutes of non-stop playing, Matisyahu finally said it was time for a Q&A session.
The first question a CU student asked was, “What’s your favorite Phish song?”
Matisyahu didn’t miss a beat. He said it was “Harry Hood.”
The performer was also asked about his favorite touring bands –and how he felt about Langerado being cancelled.
“It sucks, but I’m still going to Florida,” Matisyahu replied.
Matisyahu was also asked about his favorite concert moment.
“I have two,” Matisyahu said. “The first was when I sang ‘Roxanne’ with Sting in Tel Aviv. It doesn’t get much better than that. The second was playing with Trey at Bonnaroo.”
Matisyahu went on to tell Phish stories, talked about a trip to Israel and how he got inspired by his religion. The artist really opened up to tell his personal stories to the student crowd.
Matisyahu was funny, personable and warm — and he won over the 1,000 seat crowd.
The event ran over-time, but this crowd didn’t seem to care.
Matisyahu even invited an audience member up to be a human beatbox, while he did a freestyle rap about being in Colorado.
The show ended with Matisyahu performing an emotive verison of Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry.” The crowd got on its feet and pushed forward to the stage to capture every second of the song.
The CU Boulder students definitely got their $1 worth — and more — at Matisyahu’s unplugged show.