Just how do you cram 20 years of music which includes Eight LPs into a two hour show?
That’s the dilemma Matt Nathanson faces in his first headline UK tour which started at The Borderline in London. Too be honest, he could have picked anything from his repertoire and the sell-out crowd would have sung along.
Right from the off, a loud and long applause warmly greeted Matt on stage that would have befitted the end of his set – this appreciation continued right through the night. Matt responded with equal enthusiasm as he and his right hand man Aaron Tap launched into Mission Bells – breaking his guitar in the process!
The set continued regardless, cherry picking songs from Modern Love, Some Mad Hope, Beneath These Fireworks and his latest creation, Last of the Great Pretenders. While the crowd requested about half of his discography it seemed, favourites such as Faster, Car Crash, Come on Get Higher and Annie’s Always Waiting (For the Next One to Leave) made the cut. There was even a special request for All Been Said Before, taken from his 1997 album Ernst. The set finished with Suspended and the crowd singing the lingering ‘sunshine’ chorus. In fact, everyone was in great voice and sang almost every word with Matt throughout the gig.
There was also time for Prince’s Little Red Corvette and James’ Laid, not to mention impromptu renditions of Motorhead’s Ace of Spades and Eminem’s Lose Yourself – the latter impressively sung by the crowd too.
Matt was clearly feeding off the energy in the room and his terrific showmanship made the gig that bit more memorable. While other artists play their songs and quickly leave, Matt connected with the audience at every turn, whether it was an anecdote about the forthcoming song or being an artist in general. Did you know for example he wanted to call his son Ernst, but his wife said no? Instead he named his album Ernst – and his manager thinks it’s a terrible name for an album… Matt also revealed many of his songs are about f-u-c-k-i-n-g! There was also talk of sex biscuits, but we won’t go into that here…
Finishing on Suspended, Matt graciously deemed the night a highlight in his career and judging by the ovation and applause that saw him off stage, the feeling was mutual.
Catch him next time he’s playing a show near you. Listen to the set list below from the show!