Colfax Events Center
November 28, 2008
Brooklyn’s own reggae/hip-hop star Matisyahu celebrated the holiday weekend by giving an intimate, free performance to a couple hundred fans at the Colfax Events Center in Denver last Friday. Sponsored by local independent music store Twist and Shout, the show gave folks a chance to see the artist up close as well as stick around to meet him and get autographs signed.
Twist and Shout is well-known for providing free, in-store performances by national artists but decided to move this one across the street to the newly renovated Colfax Events Center. The building, constructed in 1929, is essentially an inter-denominational church that has begun hosting lectures, concerts, and conferences for the community. The venue couldn’t have been more fitting considering Matisyahu’s strong religious (Jewish) beliefs and messages.
People of all ages and lifestyles came to hear this amazingly talented artist perform, including a seemingly large contingent of Denver’s relatively small Jewish population. Matisyahu brought a pretty diverse group of musicians with him as well, including California singer/guitarist Trevor Hall, long-time band guitarist Aaron Dugan, percussionist Chris Steele, and little known beat-box phenom Komakozie. Matisyahu noted prior to their performance this was the first time these guys had played together with him, but you would not have known it judging by the show.
After a short speech thanking everyone for attending, Matisyahu and his band broke into a free-from and improvised song. He and Komakozie traded off beat-box flows and rhymes while the rest of the band kept rhythm. From there they performed a few newer tunes that can be found on the latest EP release Shattered. Such songs as "Smash Lies" and "I Will Be Light" showcased the front man’s exceptional reggae-inspired voice and pension for positive hip-hop.
This short set was highlighted by a chilled and well-received version of "Jerusalem," a song with deep Biblical undertones from his popular 2006 album Youth.
A couple more improvised beats and tunes followed before Matisyahu and his band again thanked the crowd for letting them perform, and bowed off stage. A large handful of fans stayed after the set to meet this enigmatic artist and have pictures and discs signed. It was obvious this was a special afternoon for both the fans and the singer himself.
Later that evening Matisyahu would perform in front of a sold out crowd at Denver’s Ogden Theater, once again amazing fans with his exceptional skills and talent. He will perform a handful of live shows the rest of the year before gearing up to release his brand new album of songs entitled Light, slated to hit shelves around March 2009.