matt nathanson / 01.20.2012

a few years ago, a friend of mine picked up matt nathanson's some mad hope album at the library because she liked the picture on the cover. she also liked what she heard and she spread it around. and that's when my love for matt nathanson began.

now, a few years and another album later, i still love his music and his voice and may also be mildly obsessed with his new album, modern love. the title track is a gem, but then again, so are the rest of them.

about a month or so ago, i was on his twitter page and clicked the link to his website. i couldn't tell you wy, but i liked what i saw: a list of tour dates that included a FREE show at mohegan sun. i immediately texted leah, who is my go-to girl when it comes to all things concert-related, and asked if she happened to be a fan of his because he was coming to connecticut and i was dying to go.

so, on friday night, leah and her friend sarah e. and i headed out to mohegan to see him play. what we found when we got there was not at all what any of us were expecting. if i had any sort of computer/design skills, i'd create a diagram to show you how awkward the setup was for this show. since i don't, you're just going to take my word for it and try to imagine it for yourself, using the poor description i'm about to provde here.

basically, the wolf den is a circular tented aread in the middle of the casino that consists of the stage and a number of tables and chairs. the whole thing is blocked off so that you can only get in if they let you in and, unfortunately, i was not one of the lucky guests who made it into the reserved seating inside the actual "den." i was standing on the outer edge, next to these fake wolves that move their fake heads and fake tails and fake howl every so often.

from what i could tell, the actual fans who were there to see matt were all on the outer edge and only a select few fans were on the inside. the rest of the people on the inside were just sitting there, drinking beer from glasses that had a flashing rainbow strobe light attached to the bottom. it was awkward, and matt even made a few comments about how weird it was.

the actual show was ...interesting. i follow him on twitter, i've read his blog, i have obviously listened to his music, so i had a general idea of how he might be on stage, but he still managed to surprise me with some of the things he came out with. there was a lot of "oh my gosh, i can't believe he just said/did that!" kind of reactions. i'm not going to give specifics, but at one point, he actually said, "it's 21+ so i can say stuff like that."

a friend of mine, who is not the one who introduced me to his music, said she's seen videos of him and that that type of behavior is pretty standard for him, but it's usually toned down a bit because not all venues are 21+.

aside from that, it was pretty great to see him live. his voice is amazing and it sounds that amazing in real life too. (although, in my professional opinion, i think his mic should've been up a little higher. but then again, it could've just been the bad acoustics from where i was standing outside of the wolf den.) i just kept thinking about how much i like live music because you can see what musicians look like when they're playing. you can see the passion in their face and the way they dance (or if they dance at all) and when someone in the crowd does something funny, you can hear the laugh mixed in with the lyrics and that's just not something you can find on a recorded track. it was the first time i saw matt live, so i just really enjoyed it, even though i wish i didn't hear some of the things he said.

after the show was over, leah and sarah and i headed straight for the door because the smell of the smoke was overwhelming. unfortunately, we were there long enough for our jackets and clothes and hair to get completely saturated, so we were smelling it all night long, no matter where we went. which was wendy's and the gas station and leah's apartment.

all in all, it was an interesting experience. one that we might have again in march when he comes back to new england to play in northampton. but the jury's still out on that decision.