By: Nevra Azerkan
Rating: [The Breakdown]
The Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA presented Shoreline Jam with headliner, Matisyahu. The festival lasted nearly half of the day, but I made it just in time for the main act. The crowd was 95% baked by this point, so making my way to the front was a breeze.
Matisyahu, sans his traditional Orthodox Jewish garb, performed favorites like “King Without a Crown” and songs from Akeda including, “Champion.” He had a laid back performance, most likely due to his occasional puffing breaks, and ended the night with a chill vibe. The audience consisted of all ages and various backgrounds. His tone, flow, and lyrics had the first two rows engaged. However, further back people began to disperse because his set was becoming a little too relaxed with missed lyrics and continuous instrumental jamming.
When the last song came around, Matisyahu encouraged fans to come on stage, but not to get “too crazy.” People began to climb the barricade and when some went up the side stage rafters (with the help of security), I decided to join in to get the full experience. About 30 fans ended up on stage and Matisyahu concluded his set with all of us surrounding him. To be able to stand there to see and hear the audience sing along with him from his perspective is an incredible feeling.
Overall, Matisyahu’s set was anything, but perfection. Maybe it was an off-day, but I left disappointed with not hearing a full-hearted set. Then again, he gave me a stage memory that I will never forget.