The last tickets to this show sold just as I was picking up my photo pass, so for his live DVD Matisyahu can officially say "filmed before a sold out audience".
It was a close run thing too, because all that video equipment just invited a torrential rainstorm and just a mere 10 minutes north of the venue there was an absolute deluge. Call it luck or divine intervention, but nary a drop made it to Stubb's and in the end the army of videographers were able to put an awesome set down on film(?).
Although the humidity was near 100% and the temperatures were hovering in the 90's Matisyahu performed onstage in suit and a long head scarf, both part of his orthodox faith, and both were soaked by the end of the second song. Though he and his band played on seemingly oblivious to the heat and feeding off the energy of the crowd, I was not so lucky and had to replenish my fluids with many bottles of water passed to me by the security crew.
Without a cloud in the sky and a heat index still hovering in the triple digits, the crowd was slow to gather last night for the Crowded House show at Stubb's BarBQ and it's outdoor amphitheater, but eventually it filled in by the time the band reached the stage.
Veteran's of Austin's notoriously hot and dusty ACL fest, Crowded House put that experience to use as they worked their way through a 2 hour set in the sweltering summer temperatures, covering songs from throughout their vast catalog.
Drawing on a fan base that stretched all the way back to founding members Neil and Tim Finn's Split Enz days in the early 80s, the audience was distinctly older though some younger attendees were there, perhaps drawn by the band's ACL appearances. If so it was a perfect opportunity to catch them in a much more intimate venue and really the best way to appreciate the finely crafted songwriting of these New Zealanders.
Sadly, Paul Hesters contributions on percussion were greatly missed, although Matt Sherrod's outstanding musicianship went a long way towards filling in the gap.