An intimate sit-down with Matisyahu, Pabst Theater

An intimate setting with no opener, Matisyahu and full band returned to the Pabst to lay down stripped back but full bodied takes on much of his discography. The toned down grooves were fresh and entertaining, contrasting Matisyahu’s other visits to Milwaukee to the Pabst Theater and other historic venues in town.

Looking back at his roots for this tour, Matisyahu presented familiar sounding and new takes on anything from his Live at Stubbs beginnings to his more recent Akeda. It seemed like a nice fusing of where he’s been and what he’s become as an artist. His well-seasoned originals shined through nicely.

Emerging on stage he admitted forgetting a setlist, allowing fans to pick “Thunder” as the first song. Taking the reigns from there Matisyahu seemed to have no issues with finding what he wanted to play next. Little chats between songs kept things interesting. His sound and style really took off in this venue. Roomy, dreamy, spacious, one of the best sounding styles I’ve heard resonate in this theater.

A taste of his chilled out voice, beat boxing, and quick over hip hop inspired run arounds were all in play, his band tightly following him for a spectacular and often moving experience.

Tying reggae hip hop and rock, Matisyahu is in his own musical category. And although not dominating the radio waves in mainstream music, his name and style are well known to the laid back reggae/roots fans gathering around him. He mentioned missing Summerfest this year, the world’s largest music festival in Milwaukee, WI, and hoped to be back there soon.

Even a quick fire alarm minutes before the show couldn’t separate fans as everyone remained in their seats awaiting the show.

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