I went down to Seattle with Nathan to see the Matthew Good show at the Tractor Tavern. I've seen a lot of Matthew Good live, from 1997 when I got kicked in the head while standing at the edge of a mosh-pit at EdgeFest in Edmonton to 2008 where I had to strain to hear the tunes over a group of drunk girls and their boyfriends who kept yelling out "Play Timebomb!" I've travelled around western Canada, from Alberta to the interior catching him in Vernon, Kamloops, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, Edmonton and now Seattle.
After all of that I feel like I'm something of an expert on what is a good Matthew Good show. That is if it weren't for my one terrible secret, that I've never seen his live acoustic show before. That's right for various reasons I've missed out on the last two tours and so in order to catch him live again Seattle the opening date on his American tour was where I had to go.
The Tractor Tavern is a small club, the perfect sort for this sort of show. Small, intimate and decorated with a (possibly) ironic country and western vibe it was the sort of place you could imagine a pre-Ten Pearl Jam playing with the band packed onto the stage. For a solo acoustic show the stage was roomy enough for Matt Good. The crowd however was packed in tight, the show having sold out with a large contingent of fans making the trip down from Vancouver. I bumped into Vancouver bloggers John Bollwitt [jb] and Duane Storey [ds] after the show, and after an evening of standing right behind them trying to photograph over their heads.
The show was excellent, loose and relaxed. It's clear that Good seems to prefer the acoustic setup more than a full band show and he spent the night joking with the audience and was even convinced by someone to do a verse of "The Future Is X-Rated" which is not really an acoustic friendly song. It was probably the smallest venue that I've seen Good play in, and though it was nicer than the curling rink shows I've seen him play in Vernon during the MGB days, I still have to say that the Commodore is probably my preferred venue.
Most of Good's recent songs lend themselves to acoustic treatments, and so it was nice to hear them as he most likely originally wrote them. Still I have to say that I am looking forward to being able to see him with a full band [mg] this summer. This time I'll have to remember to buy tickets when they go on sale, as opposed to waiting, and waiting and waiting until they're all sold out.