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On the Road: Matt Nathanson at The Pearl in Las Vegas

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Matt Nathanson at The Pearl


Albuquerque attracts its fair share of international touring bands to spice up the local music scene, but any music fan who has lived here for a while knows that sometimes you have to hit the road yourself to see some of your favorite acts. With Vegas a short direct flight away (or a long, but still manageable drive), you don’t ever have to miss that band you’ve been dying to see live. Tours rarely miss a chance to play sin city. This week it was Matt Nathanson and Kelly Clarkson at The Pearl in Las Vegas, NV, and their performances were well worth the trip.

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Fans of Matt Nathanson have a lot to be thankful for these days. A new album that finally rivals Matt’s 2007 album Some Mad Hope feauring the platinum hit Come on Get Higher, the All Night Noise headlining tour that wraps up tonight in Anaheim, CA, touring in support of Kelly Clarkson and Train, and an appearance as a musical guest on a recent episode of Dancing with the Stars, are just a few of the singer-songwriter’s recent accomplishments. With three singles out so far from his Modern Love album, which was released by Vanguard Records in June, 2011, Matt is giving fans what they want most: new music that brings them back to the feeling they had when they first heard Come on Get Higher and became lifelong fans.

Like Matt’s on-stage persona, Modern Love is a superbly-moving yet also funny and lighthearted take on love and relationships. Those fans who haven’t had the opportunity to see Matt live may be surprised to hear how funny he is between songs. Performing to an all-ages crowd, most of whom had come to see Kelly Clarkson, Matt introduced his more romantic songs as being about “the adults playing Scrabble…all night long.” While this euphemism kept the adults in the crowd laughing, this was still Vegas, and Matt didn’t hold back much. Whether he was making sure everyone knew that his nipple was erect, or introducing himself as Kelly Clarkson’s “fluffer,” Matt made sure to balance the romance with a healthy dose of humor.

Matt performed Run, Faster, and Room at the End of the World, from Modern Love, as well as some older songs including Wedding Dress and, of course, Come on Get Higher, leaving this fan sufficiently “fluffed.” Hopefully as Matt continues to earn recognition for his latest album, he’ll see fit to visit Albuquerque on a headlining tour in the near future. Until then, local music fans can find him in cities nearby, or on the radio.