Jewish reggae-rapper Matisyahu will release an acoustic version of his latest recording, Spark Seeker, in January. Matisyahu will perform an intimate, acoustic concert at Louisville's Brown Theatre on February 4. Tickets start at $27 and are available through The Kentucky Center box office.
In a recent interview with The Village Voice, Matisyahu had this to say regarding why he included acoustic performances on his current tour:
Where did the idea for the acoustic tour come from?
Well, the truth is, we did some acoustic shows, and the turnouts were really big. A lot of people come to those shows, so we just decided to do a full run like that. It's a little bit nicer in that we play in nicer theaters, kind of more stripped down. It allows for different types of people to come; not just the people who would come to a regular rock show at a club, but all the people who want to bring their kids. The style is totally different. It features more of the voice. I'm performing with a cello, and it's really pretty. There's a lot of improvisation because I do the beatboxing and all that, but there's still a big improvisational element like in my rock show. It's not just that it's stripped down, it has a certain spirituality to it and it's a completely different musical experience. As an artist, it's great, to be able to make my songs and make my music in different modes and different ways.
Are there any songs that have transformed in this new format for you, especially?
In particular, with "Crossroads," the first song on Spark Seeker and the first song I've been performing live, we change it--everything just slows down, it's more drawn out, I'm able to sing more. It still has all the elements of the rock show. I'm still rapping, there's still reggae and beatboxing and all that; it just comes out in a completely different way.
What's the one thing you hope people take away from the acoustic tour?
The biggest challenge is people knowing what they're going to see, that they're going to see not just a Matisyahu concert but an acoustic concert. Sometimes people come to these shows expecting to dance at a high-energy rock show, but it's not that. The challenge is trying to get people to meet me dynamically on the energy level I give. I hope that people connect with the music in an emotional way. I hope that when people walk away, they walk away feeling as I would feel when I was leaving a concert when I was a kid, feeling touched, feeling connected. It's like when you go to a good movie and it gives you that insight into your own life: you have that supercharged clarity in your life. Good art, that's the purpose of it--to lift you up and take you to a new realm, and allow you to see things about your life and help you make decisions that might need to be made.