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Mat Kearney:: The Showbox- Seattle, WA 3/25/07 (Live show review)

Playing to a packed house at the Showbox, Mat Kearney delivered exactly what anyone who has heard his music before would expect: powerfully catchy songs overlaid with his sense of social awareness and personal relationships. His album, Nothing Left To Lose, has proved a commercial success both in album sales and its translation to other mediums (his songs have been recently featured on Grey’s Anatomy and What About Brian). His live performance of this album was nothing short of excellent. Though the music industry is already inundated with similar guitar-playing, singer-songwriters (e.g. Jack Johnson etc.), Mat continues to carve a niche by offering a unique combination of singing/rhyming, playing both guitar and piano, while limiting his band to stay true to a stripped down sound/feeling. Mat’s easy-going nature paired with an honest humility was refreshing to see from an artist of his “up and coming” stature. One is left with the impression that this is a guy truely appreciative to be where he’s at and soaking in every second.

The Feeling, opening for Mat Kearney, provided a wonderful counter to this with their arena-filling Brit Pop Rock sound. To this reviewer’s surprise, they proved to be the best opening bill I have ever seen. Playing as though they were the headliner, their infectious party attitude adorned wonderful Pop Rock music (imagine everything that is good about pop music i.e. Beatles and Queen). Already popular in England, this band is definitely one that everyone should keep their eye on.

This VH1 “You Oughta Know” concert proved true to its name. Not everyone knows Mat Kearney or The Feeling — but they oughta. Between music from The Feeling and an album worth of radio ready hits from Mat Kearney, I left this concert humming catchy melody after catchy melody…and sometimes, that’s all I want.
(Mike Widell)