Show Review: Matthew Dear @ the Mohawk (10.24)
Read on for our thoughts on the show and some great pics from Brian.
Of course we had to arrive early for Orthy, who continues to impress on the Austin scene. Unfortunately, they were down a man due to illness (strep throat), but that didn’t stop them from working their magic. Whether you’re a supporter of the local musician or just a general fan of great music, you need to catch Orthy as soon as possible: they’ll be playing at Fun Fun Fun Fest next week! Oh, and they highlight another fine point of live musicianship, but I’ll deal more with that on Matthew Dear.
Next came Outputmessage, and one man act who took the stage gracefully to a moderate audience in attendance. Whether or not you appreciated the musicality of show, Bernard puts on a hell of a show for a one-man band. He took to the stage clad in black, used his soulful voice to win several people over, and shook it like nobody’s business. For me, it recalled a blend of modern electronic pop music with the pop music of the early 90s, which was definitely an intriguing combination that we enjoyed.
And finally came Matthew Dear. Honestly, I’ve always been sort of indifferent towards the man, not in a bad way, just that I hadn’t invested a great deal of time in his music from the past, though I spent quite a bit with the new effort Beams. I was interested to see how he’d work some of that electronic magic into the live setting, and you know what, the group (4 piece) completely won me over. Like Orthy, Matthew Dear didn’t just revel in electronics, but rather came to put on an actual show, full of musicianship and musicality. His belting out of the lyrics, occasionally looped, was reminiscent of the work of many art-pop acts of the 80s…you know the No Wave generation.
Clearly the audience was impressed too, as they danced about, waved their hands, and overall, had a joyous time. For me, it solidified Matthew Dear as someone I need to continue to develop a relationship with. I have trouble finding that balance between appreciation for electronic music, and loathing it for its simplicity, but when executed to perfection with a live band, I can’t complain. It’s why I love bands like Orthy (and now Dear). They’re not content with studio tinkering, although that helps flesh out their musical vision, but they also want to entertain. I know everyone that left the Mohawk last night was thoroughly impressed, and grateful, for having been at the show. Cheers Matthew, cheers.
There are a few more pics at the photo site…