Matthew Good with the Dears at the Kool Haus, April 10. Tickets: $29.50. Attendance: 1,000. Rating: NN Rating: NNNNN
The way I feel about Matthew Good could best be described as deep-seated, seething ambivalence. "Well," I thought as I headed down to the Kool Haus last Thursday night, maybe he'll be a crazy fuck onstage or something. Nuh-uh. You know how it is when you're watching some bad art film or reading a textbook or sitting in a meeting and desperately trying to pay attention and absorb what's going on but you just can't and suddenly you realize 20 minutes have gone by and where the fuck has your mind been??!!
Well, it was like that. There was just no oomph, no fire.
You could feel it in the sold-out crowd. Applause was lukewarm, people stood around lamely, waiting to be rocked, shifting from one foot to the other.
Good's reported to have hung up on an interviewer after just 10 seconds, offended by what seemed like a truly banal question. He also refused an interview with NOW due to a less than stellar review of his new CD, Avalanche.
The consensus seems to be that he may not be in the happiest place right now. Perhaps it's due to an apparently volatile breakup with his former band, or the fact that NOW wasn't the only paper not to fall in love with Avalanche, which emerged strong on the charts and promptly slid down.
Whatever the reason, Matt wasn't exactly in top form and wowing the room as he and his new musicians, along with Rich Priske, the only remaining member of the Matthew Good Band who stuck by him, ran through a repertoire of tunes old and new. People were obviously expecting more, some banter and raving, perhaps, some evidence that this was worth the price of the ticket. Some crazy fuckness.
I mean, geez, dude. I heard you were a wit to be reckoned with. Bring it on.
There was some anti-war ranting and the odd moment when it was evident that Good is in fact an adept enough songwriter, but that only goes so far when it comes to such self-indulgent travesty rock.
Part of me felt kind of bad for him. Most of me was thinking about something else.