Well, I guess he always did have it, but for a while it kind of got pushed to the back burner and taken for granted while I was busy with more current infatuations. You know, kind of like marriage. But last night, Matt put on a fabulous show and stole my heart and mind right back again.
This was the third time I've been to one of his shows, and I have never seen him so relaxed and jovial. The fact that it was an acoustic show, with cabaret seating, certainly helped make it a more laid back atmosphere. No mosh pit, nobody hucking shoes, no bandmates to get on Matt's nerves. As Jerry pointed out, it's like he's been waiting all week for you to arrive at his house and now he's got you in his living room and wants to play a few songs for you on his guitar and read you some passages from this hilarious book he's been reading.
If you know Matt at all, you know that he can be pretty intense. And if you've ever visited his blog, you'll have experienced the power of his awesome intellect. The fact that he can be scary smart never got in the way of his welcoming us lesser minds to discuss human rights, geopolitics, or the environment, because he's got enormous compassion for people as well, and a wicked sharp sense of humour to boot.
Last night all the humour was there, with none of the righteous indignation. In contrast to his usual practice of spewing some hard-hitting political rants between songs, last night Matt kept his few political observations short and pithy. Instead we got the comedic stylings of Matthew Good. He had with him a book he is currently enjoying, The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Guide (you may have seen it around), and dipped into it from time to time with observations on the instructions for stopping a runaway locomotive, say, or what to do if your parachute doesn't open. Great stuff. Wish you had been there. Who knew that Matt Good, famous for being difficult and unforgiving to fools, could be so laid back?
And then of course there was the music.
I started keeping track of the playlist, but lost count. Included were acoustic versions of Alert Status Red, Empty Road, In a World Called Catastrophe, Black Helicopter, Avalanche, Generation X-Wing, Load Me Up, Apparitions, Been a While Since I Was Your Man, Prime Time Deliverance, Tripoli, Indestructible, and, just for me, Strange Days. With nothing but a guitar and his voice he kept us mesmerized for almost two hours. And an eight-song encore! It's like they couldn't get him to go home!
I think Matt could be on to a very good thing here. He doesn't need the trappings of a rock show to reach people. He can stand up in a room full of people, looking slightly geeky with his glasses and his hair in slight need of a trim and his baggy-assed jeans that look like he's been wearing them all week and that english professor geek jacket and completely slay everybody.
If you are going to one of Matt's shows on his acoustic tour, you are going to love it so hard! I guarantee it!
Update: Tydes has an excellent review of the Edmonton show. Check it out.