New look and sound from Matisyahu |

New look and sound from Matisyahu

Ryan Johnson,

Kelly Davis / Lake Tahoe ActionMatisyahu invited his friends on stage to help him sing his last song.

With the tiered layout of the Mont Bleu Showroom and tight security, no on one thought Matisyahu would follow through when he said would jump into the crowd and crowd surf.

“We’ll see about that,” he told Lake Tahoe Action before the show.

Matisyahu gathered his fans in the front of the stage and crowd surfed toward the back. He hoisted himself up, standing on the crowd, as they passed him to the second tier. He stood up tall for a few seconds, while in midsong, and then surfed his way back to the stage.

The suspense started when Matisyahu took the stage. The room went black and, while the tune of world instruments rang, he sat silently and pitched on top of the left stage speaker. The world sounds built up into heavy bass and electro beats, kicking off the intensity of the show.

“I’ve come to take the music back,” Matisyahu sang as he leaped off the speaker and kicked off his set with his new song “Crossroads.”

Matisyahu’s has made a drastic transformation in his appearance and musical style. Not too long ago, he cut his long locks and beard. The new “Euro” look with the sunglasses and trendy Dodgers hat didn’t seem to faze the crowd, considering Tahoe has a primarily Giants fan base.

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His Sept. 27 performance undoubtedly showed he has pursued new directions, performing a number of hits off his new album, “Spark Seeker.”

His new style, looks aside, has a mainstream feel that strays from the core sound on which he built his fan. Although some fans may question his new sound and look, he has clearly continued his musical progression, and has gone from his signature dub reggae to incorporating sounds of electronica, rock, hip-hop and world music.

Matisyahu’s band provided an edgier, rawer sound. The new album has a very pop rock feel, but when performed live with his renowned band members, had a stronger rock ‘n’ roll feel on many songs, with heavy bass and electronica on others.

The Dirty Heads certainly put up their share of the entertainment as it took the stage just before Matisyahu and rocked the house. The band stayed true to their rock-reggae, hip-hop infused style. The percussionist, Jon Olazabal, even added a laid back island flavor.

The Beastie Boys influence was no coincidence. Lead singer Jared Watson said, “If it wasn’t for the Beastie Boys, we wouldn’t even be a band.” The band then paid tribute and performed their song “Believe.”

Toward the end of the set, Watson announced the song “Spread Way Too Thin” for the Tahoe fans and said, “This is for all the people that worked all summer but didn’t want to.”

Matisyahu and the Dirty Heads finished out their tour on Thursday with a, undoubtedly, stronger bond than when they started in the studio together many months ago. They showcased that musical connection when Matisyahu joined them for the song “Dance All Night.”

The night ended with a celebration as Matisyahu brought the fans on stage to join him in his song “One Day.”

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