I live in a college town, well actually not even a college town, I live in the town that is next to a college town. Over here in Dunkirk, which is a very poor city, one of the poorest in the state, there is no sports arenas for shows, there aren’t even any clubs, just some really dumpy bars. It’s a rather small city….and dumpy, have I mentioned dumpy? Anyway, thankfully we are situated just 45 minutes south of Buffalo. Who would have thought that anyone would be excited for Buffalo? Surely not I. Buffalo is much better than Rochester, who hosts no good shows at all, but I digress. This isn’t a post about the shitty upstate New York music scene, but about a great show by Canadian singer/songwriter Matthew Good.
Good’s new album, “Hospital Music” is one of the years best, trust me on this one. I realize that I haven’t reviewed it yet, but when I do, you will know, unless of course you own it already. The album is a very personal account of his hospitalization after having suffered a nervous breakdown, and dealing with his newly diagnosed bi-polar disorder.
The concert venue was an open area club type deal, there was a balcony, but it is my understanding that it was a V.I.P thing up there. In order to get to where the show was you had to walk through the bar area where people were playing darts and pool and what not, then in the back was the large, dark room, with the wall of fame prominently displayed. The wall of fame was quite entertaining. Did you know that W.A.S.P has played there….twice? as well as Jordan Knight, JC Chazet or however the fuck you spell his name…whatever, anyway….
Waitresses actually came up to us to offer us drinks, I was so taken aback that I didn’t know what to do. My stupified silence was taken for a negative response and I went drinkless for the entire show.When Matt took the stage, alone, with only an acoustic guitar I was worried that I would get bored, how could a show with one guy and a guitar possibly be entertaining? I was wrong, it was a great show. Good’s guitar abilities match his songwriting prowess. He is able and confident on stage, his voice is right on (except when his post-nasal drip gets in the way) and the banter in between songs helps to make the distance between audience and performer a little less.
He did not stick to a show completely consisting of songs from the new album, he drifted back to songs from the Matt Good Band rep, which gave them a new sound and a stripped down honesty. Being that I am more familiar with “Hospital Music” (the album that made me stand and take notice of him even though I have some of his other stuff in my possession) all of the videos that I captured at the gig are of songs off that album.He did play an encore consisting of, I think, about 5 songs, which means he played for a total of about 2 hours. The show certainly exceeded my expectations and I would certainly want to go see him again, perhaps with a full band so as to experience the contrast.
The drive back to Dunkirk was terrible. All of my friends from the show were heading back to Rochester, East on I-90, and we parted at the toll-booth as I headed West, regretfully.