Nick Feldman

Neptune Theatre

Saturday, July 30

At 10:21, as fans danced and sang to the "filler music" inside the Neptune , a shadow


Forty Fans Join Matisyahu Onstage for Feel-Good Encore, Saturday Night at the Neptune

Nick Feldman

Neptune Theatre

Saturday, July 30

At 10:21, as fans danced and sang to the "filler music" inside the Neptune, a shadow appeared on the far left side of the stage -- a man peeking out for only a brief second.

"That was him! Did you see him? He was just looking out!," said an energetic man in his early 20s.

Nine minutes later, the man of the hour finally appeared, walking out with an eager hop in his step. He wore a long-sleeved white shirt, baggy pants, and a white, flat-billed Yankees cap. Traces of white were beginning to frost the tips of his long, full beard, and before he uttered one word into the microphone, he threw his hat on the ground and leapt into crowd.

"MATIS-YA-HU!," a woman screamed while recording with her phone. The crowd pushed him back on stage, and before a worker could toss him back his hat, he leapt out again.

Matisyahu was officially in Seattle.

The night progressed with all the irregularity and heart you'd find in 10 seconds of a 'Yahu song--impeccable beatboxing and reggae soul spit over a three-piece alt-rock-punk band. Oh, and heavy synthesizer and bass. Lots of bass.

During hits like "Sunshine," "Youth," and "King Without a Crown," fans would extend small handwritten notes and pictures, waving them around hoping to get Matisyahu's attention. Even at the climax of a song, as the head-bopping beat consumed everyone in attendance, 'Yahu would reach out and grab the small gift, giving it a quick glance and a smile. He'd place it on the keyboard and continue to sing. No offering, no matter how small, went unnoticed.

There's a sense of genuine happiness that comes with a Matisyahu performance because of the nature of his music and his devout personal beliefs. The man is an overtly religious American Hasidic Jew with songs like "Lord Raise Me Up," performed in a feel-good genre characterized by the lyrics "Don't worry about a thing, 'cause every little thing gonna be all right."

It just makes sense.

Plumes of marijuana smoke filled the air like a fog machine set to 10, but it was easy to imagine 'Yahu simply responding to such a gesture with "You do your thing, I'll do mine."

It's hard to picture anything wiping off the smile plastered to his face.

To cap the evening, Matisyahu performed his biggest single, "One Day," but was not content to play by any sort of "venue rules." Going out with a bang, he leaned over to the front row and pulled up a man and a woman, who ecstatically jumped and grooved to his side. Then he grabbed another. And another. And another.

Before long 13 people were onstage with him, dancing together while 'Yahu waved his arms and sang, "All my life I've been waiting for, I've been praying for, for the people to say/That we don't wanna fight no more, they'll be no more wars, and our children will play, one day."

But it didn't stop there. Fans climbed up, friends pulled each other out of the crowd, and within minutes more than 40 people stood beside 'Yahu chanting "One day, One day, One day," each with a peace sign in the air.

As the music ended, and everyone onstage seemed to unanimously soak in the fact they were onstage--with Matisyahu--he hugged a smallish woman to his left who was starstruck, reaching out to touch his arm.

He flashed a peace sign of his own, smiled once more, then walked offstage out of sight.

Overheard Outside: "It feels so effing good to just have fresh air. I was so fucking nervous," said a woman who was pulled upstage with Matisyahu, outside Neptune.

Overheard in the Crowd: "Someone took my roach! But whatever, I was done. I was like, "Have fun with that," said a disgruntled stoner.

Set List (via setlist.fm)




Time of Your Song

Ancient Lullaby

King Without a Crown


Beat Box

Lord Raise Me Up



Open the Gates

Aish Tamid

One Day

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