By Marc Wiltshire - The Humpday Buffet - 10/18/2005

This marks my fifth occasion seeing Matthew Good live, and even after so many shows over the years, he still manages to evoke an incomparable emotional response from his audience. For the past ten years, Matthew Good’s music has revolved around my life on many different levels, without ever getting old. I have caught myself listening to his music consistently and still manage to discover something new about it, and moreover, about myself.

The show opener was different than what I was expecting, as he played a very slow-paced eight-minute song, which evolved into a powering climax. Good’s music seems to crawl on an audience, slowly and gently, weaving a web of melodies and lyrics that transcribe into something beautiful and heart-pumping. The show was filled with classic tracks dating back to his debut album and ranging until his most recent contributions from his ten-year retrospective album In A Coma: 1995-2005.

The thing I love the most about any concert is the discourse between the artist and the audience. Matthew Good is always exceptional for me in this regard. He’s the kind of musician that cherishes his fans for making his career move forward, and makes it very apparent in his shows (it’s the little things, like telling us the Canadiens won 4-3 against Boston, the game that was going on while the show was). The man knows which city he’s playing for. The audience’s interactions with Good made it feel like we were all friends with the band and that we were there to show support and have fun. A lot of shows, particularly bands who have marked their territory in the industry, seem to create a formal atmosphere around their show. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some great shows by big-time artists and loved every moment of them, but eventually it feels somewhat formulaic and “professional” when the band is just playing, doing their thing and hardly interacting with its audience. A concert for me is a means of connecting two beings (artists and audience) to celebrate in one night of music. Seldom do I get that feeling from a band unless they’re playing at Missy Bar or somewhere similarly small. Matthew Good never disappoints me on this criterion. He’s so honest, modest and passionate about what he does, but more importantly, he shares that feeling with his audience.

My favorite part of the show was by far the encore. I suppose encores would frequently be a highlight, but in this particular instance, it relates to my point above. While the band got off stage and the audience was screaming with enthusiasm for their eventual return, a few fans began to sing “K-I-C-K-A-S-S, THAT’S THE WAY WE SPELL SUCCESS”, quoting the opening of one of The Matthew Good Band’s most famous songs, “Giant”. It sprung out of one person and before we knew it, the entire audience was singing along with it. It may not have been a surprise, but it was great to see Good play that song immediately when coming on stage. I have a feeling that he was going to play it, but maybe not right away, so it just added to that feeling of connection between the band and audience.

It still amazes me that even after hearing these songs so many times and seeing them being performed as often, Matthew Good’s music continues to blow me away and holds a special place in the lonely or sad moments in my life. His music is very therapeutic for me, and I’m sure it will continue to get even better.

[Tune in to The Humpday Buffet on Sundays 6pm – 8pm… which is always sexy.]