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Matisyahu pleases the CoMo crowd … and surfs it, too

Find out what you missed last night at The Blue Note.

Published Nov. 16, 2012

If you have followed Matisyahu’s career until this point, you know the previously self-described “Chassidic reggae superstar” has undergone some major changes.

One clean-shaven face, a dive into the acting world (he starred in this summer’s horror flick “The Possession”) and a collaboration with crazy fresh Hollywood producer Kool Kojak later, and Matisyahu is a whole new kind of star. His new album, Spark Seeker, debuted at #19 on the Billboard 200 chart, and after his show last night at The Blue Note, it’s clear why.

The whole crowd was in for not one, not two but three surprises. One was his new sound, edgier than anything he has put out in the past. When Matisyahu took the stage at about 10:30 p.m., the trippy strobe lights, heavy beats and light-as-air melodies made for a combo that promised to keep the crowd's energy high all night.

The set itself featured most of the new songs off Spark Seeker, such as the thumping, edgy “Searchin” and “Sunshine,” a breezy, beat-filled summer jam. Matisyahu also made sure to throw back to some old hits such as “King Without a Crown” from his 2006 album, Youth.

Surprise No. 2: Yes, Matisyahu crowd surfed, and yes, it was amazing. The crowd received him with open arms and rode his wave of energy the rest of the way through the night. In return he gave one last matanah (Hebrew for “gift”) to the people of Columbia during the show’s closing tune, “One Day.”

Cue surprise No. 3: an open invitation to the stage. Dozens of concert-goers madly dashed onstage and communed together during a song that itself is about unity and equality. Now that’s a killer way to kick off this Thanksgiving break.

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