Review: Matthew Good @ Burton Cummings Theatre
I don’t recall ever seeing Matthew Good live before tonight. I only know the songs I hear on the radio and I only own one of them (“Born Losers”). I play this song quite regularly because I like the harmonizing with Nadia Johnson.
I don’t own “Beautiful Midnight” and I’ve never heard the whole album. That’s about the extent of my knowledge about Matthew Good.
But the cool thing about this blog, is that I get to hurl myself into shows with this limited knowledge just to see what happens. Worst case scenario, nothing happens and it’s a waste of money (rare). Best case scenario, something happens.
Something happened tonight.
There were very few people in the audience when Craig Strickland took the stage with his guitar and loop pedals.
He looked great and sang his romantic love songs well, oozing with syrup. I think if I was still a teen, I would probably have photos of him plastered all over my bedroom walls. But I’m definitely not a teen anymore (thank God) and musically, I’m looking for more substance.
He covered The Tragically Hip’s “Bobcaygeon” which made me wince a bit because I like covers where the artist breaks out and either makes the song their own, or creates something better than the original.
That song is wonderful because each band member weaves it to life. In my opinion that’s kind of impossible with a loop pedal machine. Nevertheless, he received a rousing applause from the audience, so they seemed to really like it.
Lyrically, the new single “Warning” off Craig’s new album seemed to have a bit more meat to it.
After Craig’s set, I was sitting in the audience talking to a lovely lady who also came to the show alone and half listening to the songs being piped through The Burt.
Just before Matthew Good’s set, they played a tune that sounded like Opera and ever so slowly it grew louder and louder until it reached a crescendo and then abruptly stopped and all the lights went out at the same time. That was cool.
It always takes me a song or two to “get into the groove” of a show; to get my bearings and the vibe of a show. By “Hello Time Bomb”, I was good and it was a song I had heard before, so even better.
“Strange Days” felt really nice and I began to wonder if I was listening to the wrong Matthew Good songs. If maybe his constantly played rock radio ones weren’t his best ones…I drew a star next to that song so I’d remember how I felt. “I Miss New Wave” was next and that one felt nice too.
After a couple of tunes Matt would stop to replenish with a Vitamin Water and chat with the audience who’d shout things at him that were mostly misinterpreted, which was pretty funny.
The crowd loved “Load Me Up” and after “Failing The Rorschach Test” I thought I heard him remark to the band that he “couldn’t find the room”. I’m not sure what that meant, but maybe he wasn’t feeling the song? Not sure.
“Let’s Get It On” had him making his way through the audience towards the lobby. He couldn’t get all the way there, so he stopped and took selfies with fans.
I really enjoyed “Going All The Way”, Matthew crouched on stage in front of a guy wearing a baseball cap and basically sang the song right in front of/to him.
After that tune, Matthew joked about Craig Stickland being a male model and how he had a kitchen in his van because he was handy. Typical “I’ve been doing this music thing for a long time” jokes…
It was at this time that I began to fully appreciate the lighting. During “A Boy And His Machine Gun”, the shredded backdrop looked a bit like a birch tree forest and when the song ended, the forest vanished into the ceiling.
The lighting was great in “The Future Is X-Rated”, but “Born To Kill” was fantastic. The grey lights on the torn sheets in the background combined with the slide guitar felt icy cold. During the driving guitar solo, the lights turned red and it was completely mesmerizing.
“Born Losers” was the first song of the encore, followed by a new tune with a catchy riff. “Apparitions” was next and all the cell phones came out and couples held each other and sang; which was lovely.
My absolute favourite song was the very last song of the evening, “Weapon”. The tune pounded through The Burt and the stage lights flashed on and off like strobe lights. It was so exciting and I wished it would have lasted longer than it did.
The band slowly left the stage as Matt sang and then the lights went out and that was it. I was so pumped up and I LOVE when shows end like that.
Should I buy this album? Yeah, I should probably buy this album.
Great music and great lighting; man, that was fun!
P.S. Most of these shots were taken by Dave Baxter! Check out his page here: Dave Baxter Photography
TicketMOMster is a Rock and Jazz-loving Mom; single-handedly keeping Ticketmaster alive in Winnipeg. Follow her musical journey here: www.facebook.com/TicketMOMs