We recently had the chance to write a review of Matisyahu and Dirty Heads’ co-headline tour. You can check out the review after the break.
Besides the usual shenanigans from security at Congress Theater, entry into the Matisyahu Summer 2012 tour was a breeze. There were a few belligerently drunk people being denied access at the door, but that has become the norm with these shows. The early door time of 6:30pm didn’t yield many people at first, so when the show opened the crowd was quite sparse.
Moon Taxi is an indie-jam-band from Nashville, TN that, despite the lack of a large crowd, gave their set all the emotion and feeling that it deserved. Unfortunately for Moon Taxi, their vocals were mostly lost in the large echoing chamber that is Congress Theater. I was not able to comprehend one word from them, which was alright in this case because I thoroughly enjoyed listening to them jam along together and make beautiful music. The Congress dance floor was about halfway filled for Moon Taxi but those who were there were definitely loving it and dancing along.
I first saw The Dirty Heads a couple years ago in Chicago with Sublime with Rome, and I can say with certainty that these five guys have come a long way. Dustin Bushnell and Jared Watson’s vocals were lost just as Moon Taxi’s were, but some of Jared’s loud rap verses defeated the echoing theater and bad sound system. Loud rap lyrics such as, “Well it’s the two baddest, long haired, mother fucker right here” rang through the venue with no problem. The Dirty Heads pulled songs from their 2010 release such as “Taint,” “Neighborhood,” and “Stand Tall,” while also mixing in a solid number of new tunes from their 2012 release “Cabin By the Sea.” Along with playing the album’s title track they also played “Spread Too Thin” and my new favorite from them, “Disguise.” As well pounding through many other great songs The Dirty Heads made sure to sneak in their all-time top hit “Lay Me Down” which features Rome Ramirez from Sublime with Rome on the album version. With The Dirty Heads jamming along the Congress Theater had filled up almost all the way and the crowd was bouncing around and dancing and having a good time. The Dirty Heads brought good vibes to the show with their reggae/rap and it was sure to only get better from there.
The Congress Theater was packed when the powerful opening of the first song from Matisyahu’s new album began. The song “Crossroads” from the 2012 release “Spark Seeker” opened the show, with the lyrics “They say I inspired, but I’m still looking for my fire” echoing around the theater and into everybody’s brains. “Searchin” and “King Without a Crown” were two highlights from the set in my opinion. Matisyahu’s set was all about emotion, which was exactly the case the first time I saw him perform a few years ago. The only thing that has changed about this man is his lack of beard. Matisyahu’s showmanship and quality of performance was topnotch and it was an incredible show to see live. Along with his usual beat boxing, Matisyahu also wowed the crowd with a spectacular stage dive as well an attempt at trying to stand upright in the crowd with people holding him up. As if the entire show hadn’t been good enough already, it only got better at the very end. As I predicted, Matisyahu saved his smash hit “One Day” to be his final song. During this final tune a hoard of teenagers ended up rushing onto the stage and dancing around and reaching for Matisyahu while he sat on some tall stage speakers and finished his song. This may have been the best ending to a reggae show I have ever bared witness to, and I believe the crowd felt very similar. With a roaring applause from the packed Congress Theater the show was over and happy Congress Theater patrons started to spill out into the streets.
Information about the review…
Tour: Matisyahu / Dirty Heads Co-Headline Summer 2012 Tour
Acts: Matisyahu, The Dirty Heads, Moon Taxi
Reviewer: Michael Nutting
Date: August 7, 2012
Venue: Congress Theater in Chicago, IL