Matisyahu- Club Nokia Review

Matisyahu, 8/15/2010, Club Nokia By: Irina

Not really knowing what to expect, I arrived at Club Nokia well before the doors were to be opened at 7:30 p.m. Although there were not too many fans lined up at the beginning, the crowd rapidly grew within an hour. Having too many lined up on the third floor, where Club Nokia is located, the rest of the fans had to line up downstairs. Finally, security opened the doors and began letting people in through the metal detectors.

Inside the venue, wrist-bands were methodically given to those that wanted to be in the pit. While in line for their pit wristbands, I saw the Mitzvah (good deed) of Tefillin being performed. Tefillin are two leather boxes with a leather strap. One box is placed above the forehead and the other one is tied on the left arm so that it rests against the heart, and the suspended leather strap is wound around the left hand, and around the middle finger of that hand. After that, a prayer is recited. Where else, but at a Matisyahu concert, will you ever see that?

Having been to a number of concerts in the past, most of them rock concerts, the first observation that I made was that I have never, ever seen such a wide diversity in the fans. They were 10-55 years of age, white, black, Asian, Hispanic, etc., with tattoos, with piercings, gothic looking, rockers, conservative people and of course the Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews.

After the opening band performed, finally at 9:59 p.m. Matisyahu’s band came on and began playing. After what seemed to be an eternity of spiritual-like sound, which resonated through the crowd and blended into a Reggae beat, the long awaited, towering Matisyahu took the stage. Unfazed by the crowd’s wild applause and cheering, Matisyahu maintained a very serious demeanor behind his sunglasses and began singing.

As the performance progressed Matisyahu demonstrated his command of the crowd feeling completely at ease, singing and dancing. His sincerity and enjoyment of what he does was truly apparent. Although Matisyahu has been dubbed a Reggae singer, his songs also blended electronica, rock and even some folk, which made a great performance even more so.

Matisyahu sends a strong message through his lyrics that, undoubtedly, touched a number of people in many ways. As Matisyahu began his more well-knonw “King Without a Crown”, cell phones in the crowd were turned on as if on cue. Some were taking photos, some were video recording and some were just calling someone less fortunate who was not at the concert.

Matisyahu followed his dream and did what he was passionate about. By doing so, he has bought together so many people of different walks of life and backgrounds whose paths would otherwise never cross. And at the risk of using a cliché, music does bring people together and Matisyahu is a true testament of that. We are all the same and through music, experience the same emotions.

Although Matisyahu put on quite a brilliant and memorable performance over all, the most unforgettable moment was when he performed “One Day.” I was fortunate enough to witness people of all ages, religions, ethnicities, nationalities and tastes sing, in harmony, the touching lyrics of that song. It was extremely heart warming as well as emotional. And just for a moment, I too believed that “one day this all will change, treat people the same, stop with the violence, down with the hate, one day we’ll all be free, and proud to be under the same sun” and “they’ll be no more wars and our children will play……”

One Day 8/15/2010 Club Nokia