Last Saturday I went to see one of my favorite artists Matisyahu. This was my third time seeing him, as always, he delivered. His shows are musical and spiritual experiences that lift the spirit and consume the body with rhythmic beatboxing movement. The light is strong within him and you can't help but be lifted from it. And the dancer in me cannot be around music without it manifesting into physical form, and last Saturday night was no different. I danced the entire show.
Matisyahu, born Matthew Miller (also goes by "Matis"), played for more than two hours weaving in is new music along side his older material and his commercial hit "King Without a Crown." He also performed an intense and hard-driving version of "Jerusalem" where every note and beat consumed me, and ended the performance with one of my favorites, Warrior, which is about struggle and "fighting for your soul" and transforming the dark into light and lifting us up. And that is exactly what Matis delivered. He lifted us through his music, words and performance.
His music is a true collaborative work of art and life, and his live performance is also collaborative where he lets everyone shine. The solos from each of his band members were intense, free-flowing and electrifying. In those moments it was like a mini geek fest for musicians.
Last month Matis released "Shattered" his new EP, consisting of four songs, that is a prelude to the new album due out in early 2009. Matis first hit the scene with his debut album Shake Off the Dust...Arise. However, it wasn't until after his next two albums took off that Shake Off the Dust...Arise began to gain interest.
The first time I heard Matis was in 2006 with his 2005 Live at Stubb's album, which was a live recording from a show that he did at Stubb's in Austin, Texas. It was followed by his second studio album Youth. Both Youth and Live at Stubb's received critical acclaim.
When Matis first began to gain in popularity he was, and still is, described as a Chasidic Jewish reggae artist who blends the sounds of reggae, hip-hop, rock, beatbox and spoken word weaved with lyrics of inspired Jewish teachings and messages of struggle and hope. His music inspires and his passion for his work is evident.