Though currently finished with his debut at Lollapalooza in Chicago, Matt Maeson’s recent set at Soho House left his intimate audience of about 45 wanting more.
Standing on a platform in a crowded room, with a beer and seltzer water at his feet, Maeson took the stage and started the concert with a slow acoustic number from his newest EP, The Hearse.
His second number featured an extensive acoustic guitar solo, as Maeson really capitalized on his vocal growl. He paused at the end only to ask the audience if they approved of his eclectic flamingo printed, Hawaiian style shirt. When the audience responded yes, Maeson gave a shout out to his drummer, saying “Hear that Tyler? The audience likes it.”
The latter part of his set included a number of songs from his newest EP, including Cliffy and Hallucinogenics. As Maeson moved seamlessly between his songs, it’s clear that the Chesapeake Bay native is comfortable in front of a range of audiences – large and small. Maeson, whose parents worked in the ministry, played shows at biker rallies and maximum security prisons.
These experiences, combined with a religious background were clearly evident in Maeson’s music. In Hallucinogenics in particular, Maeson’s lyrics touch on his conflict with religion.
Maeson’s electrifying performance was one that thrived on simplicity. There were no other musicians accompanying Maeson, nor was there an opening act. He stood on a small raised platform with little decor, adjacent to a bar filled with audience members clutching wine glasses and beers.
Perhaps the most interesting part of Maeson’s casual performance was his pattern of preceding each song with the story behind it. He briefly touched on previous tours on which he slept in his car in between performances and his own hallucinogenic trip inspiring the song “Hallucinogenics.”
The audience interestingly enough was comprised of many members of Soho House, who’d received notice of Maeson’s concert through a periodic newsletter. They left Matt Maeson fans.