Wednesday night Mat Kearney brought his tour to Toad’s Place in New Haven, CT and I was lucky enough to be in attendance! I went with one of my friends I had met through Hanson, Lauren. It was weird to be sitting in the Cafe at Barnes and Noble just 5 minutes before doors opened – walk by Mat on the street on the way to the venue – and then got inside to be about 2nd row on the floor. (Hanson shows showing up 5 minutes before doors means you are way in the back, if you want second row you probably should have gotten in line the night before) I opted to sit on the side of the venue for the show though.
The show started at 9 – doors at 8 – which seemed pretty late for a show during the week (not that I couldn’t handle it, but I do appreciate getting a good night’s sleep before I have to go back to work the next day haha) but was all wrapped up before midnight.
The opening act was called Leagues (http://www.leaguesmusic.com/) and I was quite impressed with them. I’m usually not in to openers but Wednesday night I was! The lead singer mentioned how the band has been in our position before – forced to stand through openers that we didn’t necessarily ask to see but that he hoped we would like them. He also said he would be dancing like and idiot so we were more than welcome to as well. The only thing I didn’t like about their set was there was this one light that kept going off like a camera flash on the stage. I’m not sure if it was Leagues idea or the lighting guy (as it did go off during Mat’s set as well), so I won’t hold it against them.
Then it was time for Mat! He came on stage a little after 10pm and started his set with Fire and Rain. I was really only familiar with the stuff he did off of Young Love, his latest release, fortunately since that is the album he is promoting, it made up about half of the set.
He stopped a couple of times to talk with the crowd – asked who went to Yale (Toad’s Place is right across the street from the Yale campus) and when a couple people cheered asked why they weren’t studying. Then he asked about mascots… A few in the crowd were from Fairfield U and their mascot is a stag so then there was a bit of a debate about whether he’d rather hang out with a stag or a bulldog. There also were screams for America – which I do not believe was originally on the set list… so he did it and also added a bit of Chasing Pavements to the end of it.
Later he talked more with the crowd and this time the UCONN students got a little rowdy an when a big UCONN HUSKIES chant started going he commented about how he had now completely lost control of the show!
Before going to the show, I read a few reviews so I would know what to expect. Each of them said something like, “I had read he’d go in the crowd and sing, but I didn’t think he’d do it at my show. He did.” And.. despite having read the reviews (AND I talked to a friend who had seen the show already), when I saw the crowd getting larger and larger as the night went on, I thought to myself, “he’s never going out in the crowd” But sure enough, he did! I can’t remember now which song it was during.. but it was after America and before She Got The Honey so I guess that narrows it down to 3 it might be. (Although me not remembering helps keep the suspense for anyone who still might be waiting to see their show!)
I also sneaked a peek at the set list during the encore when I moved up closer because the crowd had thinned out a bit. He was going to do my 2 favorites from the CD (Ships in the Night and Hey Mama), but in between them was “Pumped Up Kicks” I am not sure if him doing America earlier made him need to cut a song out (although I think he did cut another one out in the main set) or if he needed to be off stage by a certain time. It would have been nice to see that cover, but I was pleased with the encore just the same since he closed it out with my faves!
I received free tickets in order to do this review from One2One Network. All opinions are 100% mine and I was not asked to write a favorable review. I was not otherwise compensated.
The complete setlist is under the cut!