Alright, this one is totally for me. To save others from the depths of my obsession, I'm putting this behind a cut! But click it, I promise you entertainment.
Anyone who knows me know that I'm beyond obsessed with Matt Nathanson. I could (and most of the time do) ramble on and on about how awesome he is for days on end. I thought about compiling a best of his performances playlist, but literally, I think I'd pull performances of every song he's EVER done. He's that good, and I cannot choose. So, I thought as an alternative, I'd throw together (in no particular order) some playlists of the things that make going to see him so incredibly fun: the hilarious banter, and the random, sometimes completely off the cuff and damn entertaining covers. I love this guy!
The videos above represent some of the best moments of banter from some of Matt's live shows. There is definitely no shortage of videos here, and even a site that features quotes from his shows. I've never come across an artist who plays off of audience comments as flawlessly as Matt does. He's also known for his impromptu songs about the city he's in. The infamous Philadelphia song is feature on his Myspace page as well as the Live at the Point record. Other honorable mentions include Oh, Elon, and the San Franciso song. Good times. Enjoy!
1. A fun few minutes near the end of one of his hometown shows in San Fran. Features "...I have cds for sale too, but you know what? Just burn them." "You want to lick my olives? This is dirty and wonderful! This is a bullseye, baby. I want you to shoot your love rocket right to me." "This is a song that someone else wanted to hear. I'm gonna play it, and then I'm gonna fucking ROCK YOU!"
2. If you go to a Matt show, get ready to hear people screaming out covers for him to do. Sometimes he's down, sometimes he's not. Listen to the following exchange as someone totally screws up requesting "When Doves Cry."
3. There are some shows where saying fuck and vagina all the time are just not welcome. This is one of them. Watch as Matt introduces "Lose Myself In Search Of You" in the most PG way he knows how. "This is a song about a monster truck that cheats on another monster truck!" "You're a wanton truck. You're a very loose truck. You need your bearings tightened....truck."
4. Matt deconstructs Enrique Iglesias' song Hero. I suppose this one could go under the covers list, but as he breaks down the lyrics it just gets funnier and funnier. "Would you run, if I slipped you a roofie?" "What the fuck, you just asked this girl to dance and run. She's exhausted. Then you ask her to cry. You're such a dick." "I'll tell you what, he sings the shit out of that song, I haven't cried like that since "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain."
5. Matt has a song called Angel that sounds suspiciously like Hey There Delilah. Here, he explains why.
6. The Care Bear rant. Probably my FAVORITE bit of Matt banter ever. I'm not sure why. I think it's just how genuinely frustrated and angry he gets about Grumpy Bear. "This was given to me by a guy, a fan...who apparently thought I was the biggest dick on earth!"
7. There's a ton of banter here from a show in a parking lot in Symrna. He hilariously banters back and forth with an incredibly drunk guy who can't keep his mouth shut, "Let's pass the talking stick to me. I'll be your man, but just be silently by my side," talks about the Rock of Love, "He's trying to date a bunch of women who are stuck in 1983," Hulk Hogan's divorce, and being an emo kid, "Inside I have a darkness that you don't know...that's dorky."
8. Intro to Laid: "This is like an orgy situation, and if one person doesn't pull their weight, the orgy suffers." "I see that only the sexy people are singing. Only the people that have pleased their lovers during sex are singing."
9. More banter from Symrna, this time pulling out a G rated intro to Come On Get Higher after he notices a kid in the crowd. "I could take a little less guitar, a little more of the girl asking to make out with me, and a little more of the vocal." "I feel like I'm in Bambi. How old are you, little man. 5? This song is about ice cream! This song is about ice cream and togetherness, and how mom and daddy made you!"
10. Matt does not respond well to being told what to do by a fan. "I didn't get the email that said I do whatever you want."
11. This is from the show that I went to in Cleveland. First he quiets the largely drunk crowd who braved the ice storm or the "snice storm" as he called it to get there, "I can't hear a thing you're saying....especially when you're yelling other peoples songs." Then explains to us all the plot of The Hills Have Eyes 2, which was featured that month on HBO. "Has anyone ever seen the movie The Hills Have Eyes 2? Don't ever watch it."
12. A pretty girl catches Matt's eye and the following ensues as he discusses "The portal of hot" where she came from. "She's just walking out the door, just hot and...leaving." Then he discusses Direct TV, popping your collar, and murdering and eating children.
Bonus video! (Only because it's not able to be embedded:)
From Irving Plaza in NYC. The intros to Come On Get Higher are always dirty, tmi, and hilarious. "Fuck you, I don't jack off into socks! I've seen other...I haven't SEEN anybody do it, I've heard tour stories..." "You want to be my sock? Thank you. I can't even see you but I love that your vagina is like a sock. No, no. Your vagina isn't like a sock...fuck I can't talk today."
Now on to the covers! They're not always fully realized, and some of them are completely random and off the cuff, but you're always guaranteed a few classics from the 80s and later when you're at a Nathanson show. There are tons of these. Way more than I even could post here. He's always covering something.
1. Matt busts out a little R Kelly and then expresses his desire to be able to cover a Mariah Carey song, We Belong Together. "What I like about that song is that like 6 people wrote it. That's talent...kind of."
2. Laid, also known as "The Song". He will often point out during a show if he is or isn't going to play "The Song." It was covered by him for the American Wedding soundtrack, and is by far a fan favorite. "If you think about it, the third line of this song is the best line ever written by anyone ever in a pop song," and he clearly loves to sing that line.
3. Armageddon It / Livin' On A Prayer: What I love the most about this is the dorky guitar boy rambles about the key change in Armageddon It. Adorable, and he warns the crowd "Don't get bored!" As he breaks it down, then segues into Livin' On A Prayer. "This sold 17 million records, you should all know it." "I play Utah a lot...you sing like Mormons. This is an emotional time for Tommy and Gina, I think they deserve a fucking sing a long."
4. Laid is the most famous cover, but Don't Stop Believin' is probably the only one that garners a bigger crowd reaction. Who doesn't love to sing this song?
5. Paradise City. This video is totally worth it for the surprised reaction when Aaron Tapp takes over.
6. This is another one from my show! Similar reaction as the one in the Paradise City video, but it all falls apart when they get to the bridge and Matt decides they can't hang.
7. Kids In America is now a staple in the center of Detroit Waves, and I love it every time.
8. Jesse's Girl - This comes at the tail end of Princess almost every time now, so you have to fast forward a bit to get to it. But for some reason, he laughs through it every time he does it.
9. Romeo and Juliet - I was lucky enough to see this one live as well, but this version isn't from my show. It's also available on the Live at the Point cd. So good.
10. I'm not even sure what song this is...in point of fact, neither is Matt.
11. Kiss Me Deadly - Clearly this one wasn't planned.
12. Hungry Like The Wolf - from the Rock Boat. He's been doing this one for awhile, usually as a smarmy lounge version... sometimes it's hard to believe that he doesn't drink.
13. La Bamba - This song is so obnoxious, but it's cute when he stops, the audience keeps singing and he just goes "Oh fuck."
14. Dancing With Myself - this is one of my favorite songs, and while the Nouvelle Vague version is by far my favorite, watching Matt bounce around to it is just as fun!
15. Take Me Out - another totally impromptu one, thanks Aaron Tapp for pointing out where it was headed.
16. Heaven - Another tangent about awesome chord changes.
17. Lose Yourself - The sound isn't so great for this one, but Matt talks about battle rapping, and really, who doesn't know all of the words to this song anyway.
18. Hangar 18 - It's a Megadeath song, and Matt's alternate version of singing the ingredients off of a soup can are pretty funny, as is his chatter about the 18 minute long guitar solo.
19. Lost Without You - Apparently not a fan of Robin Thicke. "Do you know that song? No? Good for you. Stay away from it!"
20. Since You're Gone - Totally off the cuff and another figuring it out on the spot one.
Whew, I feel better having gotten all of that off of my chest.