Chris van Staalduinen

November 16, 2015

Matt Good makes Good, nay Excellent at the Vogue

Matt Good makes Excellent at the Vogue
written by Chris van Staalduinen

I learned some things this week, among them that Matt Good‘s middle name must be “Very”. Not only is Matt a very good musician and performer, but a very good man, as well. He was told that he was loved in the Vogue’s intimate atmosphere by several voices of both genders and only one of them was me. It was admittedly a different night to be at a rock show, with the events of Paris less than 24 hours old. Matt didn’t focus on that and neither will I, but he mentioned it and I thought it right to do the same.

Due to the tragedy, Matt Good could have been “off” and who could have blamed him; he also could have been political, as is his wont. Instead, he acknowledged it, made one peaceful statement and told the crowd we were going to have a great time at a rock and roll show in honour of many of the victims. It was what they were doing when the attacks happened and we were not going to be scared, we were going to do what freedom lovers must do – carry on. And carry on they did – fans were treated to an old fashioned rock show – no flash, no flare, no bullshit. The entire stage was unmarked by name or logo and the light show was minimalist and meant not to distract nor detract from the music.

The guys don’t distract from the music either; you couldn’t have picked their outfits apart from what they’d have been wearing to a low-key dinner that night. I think it’s indicative of Matt – he may be the least pretentious rock star in history, but if you take the time to listen, he really has something to say. Make no mistake, the music was fantastic, skilled and far from low-key, despite how some songs start. Matt is truly the master of the “build” song – songs that start slow and are tearing the top of your head off by the time they’re over, songs like Apparitions. I am a huge fan of those, as well as the others that start hard from the start. He mixed new and old (one he hadn’t played live in 11 years) and encouraged sing alongs with some of his bigger hits. Well, maybe he just went with it, as most people were singing loud and proud throughout – The Future is X Rated, Hello Time Bomb and Born Losers were particular highlights.

He engaged the crowd throughout with dialogue and, as always, appears so real, so down-to-earth. He’s the rock star I would like to think I would have become if I’d had his courage at an early age. He’s what more people should aspire to be – a better person, an informed person, a real person who cares enough about his fans to seemingly allow them into his head to feel little pieces of his fears and anxieties. The Vogue was a great venue to see such an intimate (but still rocking) performance. The encore was a slam dunk as a couple songs were missing and he ended with a spectacular extended sing along of “Girls in Black”, jumping into the enthralled, but respectful crowd for a few minutes. It was a great end to a great night. I haven’t been to the Vogue in years, but what a way to return – Matt Good in a downright Matt Excellent performance.

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written by Chris van Staalduinen



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