Concert Review: Matthew Good, March 24, 2010, Double Door, Chicago

(photo from: http://www.queensjournal.ca/media/stories/v135/i18/matthew-good.jpg)

This was a show I wanted to see out of pure nostalgia, and is the first real concert I have seen since moving to Chicago last fall.

The nostalgia has its source from a show that the Matthew Good Band played at Red’s in Edmonton’s West Edmonton Mall…somewhere around 10 years ago (now I feel old).  The band entered to the Imperial March, and then stayed after the show to sign posters/t-shirts/cds etc.  I think I still have a signed poster (of the Underdogs album) somewhere in my storage closet.  Anyway, Matthew Good and his band were considered Canadian rock royalty back in the day (during the 90’s).

We arrived in time to catch the last 2 songs of the opening set by The Ragtones (the opener on the ticket was a band called Automatic Loveletter…not sure why they didn’t play).  I don’t have much to say about these guys…the music sounded alright, but the vocals were drowned out by the guitars.  Blame the sound guy for that one.  They all did wear really cool hats though, so there may be hope for them.

Enter now a 38-year old, slightly chubby, hipster-glasses wearing Matt Good.  I was a bit worried at first, since I had such fond memories of his music; however, despite his less-than-rocker appearance, once he stepped up to the mic and started singing, my worries were assuaged.

He played a spirited set featuring songs mainly from his new album “Vancouver”, with old favourites like “Apparitions” and “Load Me Up” from earlier albums mixed in.  Crowd involvement peaked for “Weapon”, a popular song from the “Avalanche” album, with many people singing along to the lyrics.  While I can’t say that he was as energetic as before, he still can belt out the vocals.

What amazed me most from the set, however, was not the music.  It was the late 20’s/early 30’s groupie who stood at the front of the stage, trying to get Matt Good’s attention.  At first it was funny…she had a couple of patches that were sold at old Matt Good concerts and had sewn them on a jacket.  He played along for a bit, but it was clear he was mostly amused by this woman.  Apparently, she has been following him along on his US tour, and was going to see the next show in Detroit.  I thought that this groupie was at once both amusing and pathetic, but at least it shows that Matthew Good still has some of the attributes of star performer.  I think once you lose your groupies, it is an inevitable sign of your decline as an artist.

So, for a solid set and for the nostalgia, this show gets a Panic Manual rating of:

P.S. The Double Door is a venue in Wicker Park, and is famous for being the music club that was featured in the movie “High Fidelity”…pretty cool place! (although the drinks are expensive – $6.50 for a beer).

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Posted on by Tom in Concerts, Everything, Music, Reviews

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