Seeing the same concert two nights in a row is always interesting. Sometimes you can predict what song is next, or even what joke is next. However, it’s never been more apparent how much a setting (venue) can effect the mood of a show or just my mood when I go to a concert. First and foremost- I’d like to thank Emily Provansal at Nettwerk, as well as Jason Hecht for allowing me to see this tour!
Pepperdine University, a small private school in Malibu, CA. Also at a small southern California university, I quickly became jealous of the amazing views and incredible location of the school. Including free in-n-out burger with each ticket, as well as free concert posters of the night, Pepperdine did really well at putting on a quality concert.
Opener Kate York, I have to assume is a friend of Jars Of Clay. While her voice is crisp, clear and perfectly in-tune, singer-songwriters are a dime and dozen and she’s no exception. Just one song and I was laying flat on my back in the grass listening to her incessant lullabies. Imagine Eisley’s vocals with simple chords and straight-forward strum patterns.
Matt Wertz, as some of our readers may have seen over the past half-year, is easily one of my favorite artists. Learning before the show during my interview that tonight he would just be accompanied with guitarist Justin Rosolino, I was quite anxious to see how his more upbeat songs would sound.
His set contained a good mix of songs from the new record “Everything In Between” as well as past releases, dating back to 2003’s “Twenty Three Places.” Interaction with the crowd contained his open confession of having his own song, “Heartbreaker” as his ringtone. Sorry Matt, I have Carolina. Using the incredible talents of Jars Of Clay’s Stephen Mason on Carolina, the mandolin rounded out the most complete sounding acoustic set I have ever heard. Matt’s live show is just not perceivable without seeing it and it’s impossible to capture in CD form.
Jars Of Clay, I’m not really sure where to begin with this band. They’ve been around since I was just six years old and recently released another studio album entitled “Good Monsters.” Their U2-esque CD sound is replicated perfectly by their incredibly talented lineup. Bright lights and every instrument from drums to lap steel, it’s easy to see that the band has honed their live show to perfection.
While their music is not my favorite, it is easy to enjoy fan favorites like Flood, Love Song For a Savior & the newer additions to their repertoire, Dead Man & All My Tears. While Jars Of Clay appeals to a wide audience, most of the crowd looked like graduates of either university, or Christian Radio junkies, and the band drew quite well at both venues.
If I had to pick one show to attend, the setting of Pepperdine as well as a longer set for Matt Wertz (including Like The Last Time and I Will Not Take My Love Away), clinched that decision for me, however if you have the opportunity to see Matt Wertz or Jars of Clay live I would definitely recommend it, just maybe not at the same show. That is the reason for the 7.5 rating, otherwise it was a very good concert experience.
Check out my photos from the show here.