Matisyahu returns to the Holy Land

Courtesy: SPIN Earth
Hassidic Reggae-rapper Matisyahu closed his short Israeli tour with a small, intimate show at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv. The show was announced only a week ahead of time, as an addition to the Jerusalem show the night before, but all the tickets were sold out, and approximately 1000 concertgoers packed the venue.

Matisyahu came to perform in front of an eager crowd, which had waited 2 years to see the musician back in the Holy Land.

Dressed in a long jacket, a grey hat and dark sunglasses, Matisyahu came on stage along with his touring band, which consists of the members of the band Dub Trio (Stu Brooks, Joe Tomino and D.P. Holmes), guitarist Aaron Dugan and keyboardist Rob Marscher.

The two and a half hour long set, contained songs from all three of Matisyahu’s studio albums, including 4 songs off of his latest release, “Light”. Throughout the show, Matisyahu did not talk much, and left his singing, dancing and beat-boxing to communicate with the crowd. The set list was fairly short compared to the length of the concert, because most songs were lengthened into a more “jam session” style piece, with long instrumental segments. These added sections received a mixed response from the crowd – some patiently waited for the next song to come along and wished the songs were closer to the original recordings, while others seemed more connected to these parts, and danced to the beat as long as it lasted.

There were a few high points in the night. The first was definitely “King without a Crown”, which ended the first part of the show, after which Matisyahu and the band left the stage. After calls and claps from the crowd, the band came back for an encore, which ended with the hit “Jerusalem”, and got the crowd jumping and singing along with every word.

In my opinion, the show lacked a few big songs from Matisyahu’s great studio albums, and would have left a much bigger impact on the crowd, had the instrumental sections been shorter. Nonetheless, Matisyahu is a great performer, and paired with his touring band, the guys gave a good, solid performance to close the two show Israeli tour.

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One Response to “Matisyahu returns to the Holy Land”

  1. Jason says:

    wow….that sounds amazing. no matter what songs he plays, i’m pretty sure i need to see him preform live before i die.