April 4th, 2012, 12:03 pm · · posted by GUEST
Review by Cassie Rossel
It is truly a daunting task to place Mat Kearney within one specific genre of music. Needless to say, Kearney kept the crowd completely entranced at the densely packed House of Blues Anaheim on Tuesday night.
The magic of the Oregon native’s live performance stems from his music’s diverse sounds and rhythms, elements that make it impossible for any listener to ignore. With touches of everything from hip-hop to rock and folk, Kearney has managed to mesh the most unlikely sounds and turn them into something beautiful.
The opening number, “Fire & Rain,” brought the crowd’s energy level up to a consistent level of 10, and fans automatically starting singing along to the track. Despite the stuffiness and heat that filled the room, which came from the amount of people piled into the venue, the audience showed no signs of discomfort and continued to feed off Kearney’s feel-good music.
The intimate setting provided for a pretty mellow night, but there was still an abundance of energy coming from the fans along with several highlights supplied by Kearney. The first came when Kearney asked the crowd if there were any musicians among them, and as they yelled in response to his question, he chose one lucky fan to come on stage and play the stomp box in a short acoustic set which included covers of Usher‘s “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love Again” and Nicki Minaj‘s “Super Bass.”
Throughout the night, Kearney showed off his versatility by switching instruments for almost every song. One moment he would be sitting at the piano singing, and the next he would get right up and start playing guitar again.
The musician’s adoration of his fans was not something he wanted to hide. Aside from inviting audience members on stage, he himself walked right into the crowd and hugged almost every fan that stood in the path he took to get back to the stage. The act completely revved up the room, and even though fans seemed uncontainable, they were instantly captivated when Kearney took the piano to play his hit “Breathe In Breathe Out.”
The final song of the night consisted of lyrics specific to the Southern California lifestyle. Singing about everything from the greatness of In-N-Out to the terrible traffic on the 5, Kearney’s creative songwriting and interaction with fans left his audience yearning for more.
As he walked off stage after the last song, the audience begged and pleaded for an encore. Kearney gave in and walked back on stage to perform two more songs, including the 2006 hit “Nothing Left To Lose” and “Ships In the Night” off his latest record “Young Love.”
With his mellow, yet still soulful melodies, Kearney gave a strong and captivating performance that left each crowd member walking out of the room with smiles on their faces.
Opening Act: Zach Heckendorf
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