Friday, August 17, 2007

Nathanson Returns to Boston

By Amy Willard
photo by Amy Willard

On a warm, August evening, Boston's Copley Square patiently waited the arrival of San Francisco singer/song writer, Matt Nathanson.

The free show from WBOS radio concluded a summer long concert series which previously featured recording artists: Brandi Carlile and Fountains of Wayne.

Nathanson, a former Massachusetts resident, returned to his home stage, opening up his set with his debut single, "Car Crash," from his latest album, Some Mad Hope, which hit stores earlier this week.

The record has been several years in the making for the California based artist, and is a compilation of inspirational ballads that “depict both a personal and musical transformation,” as one long term fan, Jennifer Penna, 20, said after driving more than three hours from Connecticut to attend the concert.

Those who are unfamiliar with Nathanson’s previous work can still understand his new direction by simply listening to the opening lyrics, "I'm wide awake and so alive..."

The free concert served as crucial promotion for the record, providing enjoyable entertainment for loyal fans and unsuspecting tourists to Boston that evening. Although the balancing on the microphones appeared to give the artist some difficulty, Nathanson still delivered a sound performance.

"Come On Get Higher" and "To The Beat of Our Noisy Hearts" really got the crowd moving, as Nathanson passionately delivered his fresh set of lyrics. Although the performance featured primarily new songs, he did appease long time listeners with his older work, including "Angel,” a song he dedicated to "the great Bruce Springsteen.”

Other moments in the show included a rendition of "I Want You To Want Me" by Cheap Trick, and Journey's ever popular, "Don't Stop Believing," which "really gets any concert going,” according to Nathanson.

The show slowed to the original finale of "All We Are," the concluding track on Some Mad Hope. It was quickly revived, however, with his notorious cover of James’s "Laid,” featured on the soundtrack to American Wedding.

Despite having to reserve himself from his normal concert routine of vulgar language and hilarious, but inappropriate stories that can only be described as an “experience,” Nathanson delivered yet another passionate performance. Be sure to catch this San Francisco artist on tour next summer and pick up Some Mad Hope.