Mat Kearney @ Horseshoe Tavern

Mat Kearney
Horseshoe Tavern
October 4, 2007
The show last night at the Horseshoe Tavern had a ferver of excitement as we all realized Mat Kearney was officially in the house. It took a while for things to get tuned and the Horseshoe’s non-existent ventilation system didn’t help the packed crowd, but it held promise for a return from “the kid from Oregon”.

Tyler Burkum, former guitarist of Audio Adrenaline who’s also out doing his own solo work right now, joined Kearney along with a bunch of other talented performers who shaped the vocals with a range of seamless percussion, bass, and piano.

The crowd began singing along to Kearney’s hip-hop interludes and listened to the potent lyrics which filled the ‘shoe with every day narratives, hope, and insight. Kearney rustled out the guitar with vigor and played the piano passionately throughout the evening with Burkhum doing definite justice to the guitar and vocal harmony. The accordion made an appearance from one of the band members and audience participation was included in the festivities with the girls and guys singing along to the chorus’ as per Mat’s instruction. “Undeniable” and the new “Breathe in Breathe out” were hits with the audience, while “Nothing Left to Lose” was well received, but didn’t grab hold of the night like the other two classics.

Kearney’s warm, deep vocals do a lovely contrast with his falsetto moments and always seem to remind me of Chris Martin from Coldplay; which is a quality I love about both performers. Kearney of course is different from Martin in that he does his signature rap sessions during his songs and has a less epic sound to his tunes, more of a down to earth vibe. Kearney even graciously made a rap with Toronto at its center and talked about horsepower and the confusion he felt between Fahrenheit and Celsius and even included Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City” in his encore. All who heard him know they witnessed a good show, we hope he comes back soon.

For more on Mat Kearney, please visit

Writer: Lindsay Whitfield

Photo:Paul Whitfield

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