Win Tickets ($70): Matisyahu and Bedouin Soundclash @ The Wonder Ballroom | Reggae, Rap, Hip Hop

We are giving away a pair of tickets to Matisyahu and Bedouin Soundclash @ The Wonder Ballroom on November 19. To win, comment on this post why you’d like to attend. Winner will be drawn and emailed November 15 .


From our sponsors:
Matisyahu and Bedouin Soundclash
November 19, 2019
Doors 7 p.m., Show 8 pm | $35 | 21+
More info:

The Wonder Ballroom
128 NE Russell St, Portland, OR 97212

Singer-songwriter Matisyahu has been on journey inward for more than a decade. The journey has been private and public. The journey has at times been explicitly external, even while being driven by internal change. Now nearly thirteen years after the release of his first studio record, Matisyahu and his band have done something unmatched in his past repertoire; they have crafted that journey into a musically thematic eight song movement.

The band features longtime guitarist Aaron Dugan, Dub Trio bassist and drummer Stu Brooks and Joe Tomino, and keyboard virtuoso BigYuki — and the journey starts with them. The band improvised for hours in the studio with Matisyahu watching on as an admirer without singing a single lyric. Out of the improvisations grew melodic themes, rhythmic peaks and valleys, blissful and proto-song guitar passages, deep dub meditations and ultimately an inspired instrumental record until itself. Only once the band had crafted this musical narrative, did Matisyahu begin to work on a lyrical narrative of his own — a lyrical narrative that is simultaneously informed and integrated with the music yet driven by Matisyahu’s own personal journey. The result is Undercurrent, Matisyahu’s sixth studio album.

The record is musically Matisyahu’s most courageous release to date and lyrically his most vulnerable.

The courage in the music comes from trust. Trust in the band. And only in the band. There are no post-production bells and whistles or litany of special guests on Undercurrent. On the opening track, “Step Out into the Light” the band lays out a repetitive minimalist verse section that anchors the listener in a near meditative loop only to open up into a gorgeous set of chord changes that makes the chorus feel revelatory, as if the listener has earned this release, and can achieve the song-title’s call to action.

By the record’s third track, “Coming Up Empty” the band has established melodic themes that will be called upon or re-harmonized later in the record, and just two songs in, it is clear that these musicians are road-tested, brave-song-crafters, with tens-of-thousands of hours of playing together embedded in their muscles and fortified in their bones.

The vulnerability in the lyrics comes from acceptance. Acceptance in uncertainly. Acceptance in the actions of one’s younger self and acceptance that while the future may be uncertain, having the courage to trust gives us all the best chance at meaningful relationships. It’s a lyrical reframing of the Jewish philosophical differences between emunah (faith) and bitachon (trust). Faith, the constant, and trust the immediate. Matisyahu sets the stage for this conceptually on the record’s opening track, but he digs in internally on the authoritative plea in the chorus of “Back to the Old,” [I’m giving up, I’m giving in / All I got is what’s right in front of me / Is the people that I see…]. He projects it outwardly through questioning in “Forest of Faith,” [What’s a man got to do, Oh! / To get through to you?] And finally works towards acceptance on the guitar-driven gem “Headright, [And I know feelings come and go / How should hold on, should I let go].

These forces direct the journey of Undercurrent, and as the record progresses the music begins to open up into full band improvisations like a relationship becoming more trusting, willing to take chances, knowing there’s acceptance in the process. A stunning example of this is on the record’s fifth track “Tell Me.” If you stop the song at the three-and-a-half-minute mark, you have a great reggae-tinged pop tune that promises to make a hit radio single. The track however continues for another six-and-half-minutes, beginning with a beautifully re-harmonized keyboard reference to the song’s opening wordless vocal melody. From there the entire band begins to improvise. Each player speaking briefly but with purpose, adding slowly and deliberately to the conversation. Drums and bass falling in and out. Guitar and keyboards calling back and forth to each other. The listener can almost intuit the personalities of each musician. The musical conversation continues to build, each band member adding to the improvisation without playing on top of one another. Trust and respect. This is truly Matisyahu the band. Matisyahu the singer is patiently waiting for the band to direct the journey, and he joins back in with a near whisper as the rhythm section finds that incomparable dub groove Brooks and Tomino are famous for.

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28 Responses to Win Tickets ($70): Matisyahu and Bedouin Soundclash @ The Wonder Ballroom | Reggae, Rap, Hip Hop

  1. Jocelyn Simpson November 6, 2019 at 4:23 pm #

    I would love to win free tickets to see Matis. He is one of my favorite artists, his music is invigorating and makes me so happy.

    • Celeste November 8, 2019 at 1:42 am #

      Would love to attend

  2. Christine Skorjanc November 6, 2019 at 4:34 pm #

    Oh my goodness this would be an amazing date night my boyfriend loves his music & this would be a great early holiday surprise

  3. Cara November 6, 2019 at 4:56 pm #


  4. Bogdan November 7, 2019 at 6:57 pm #

    We would love to go! Thank you!

  5. Dave G. November 7, 2019 at 10:40 pm #

    Please help me check this off my short list! Have never seen him live, but know the music!

  6. Jennifer November 8, 2019 at 12:49 am #

    Would love to see this show… thank you for the chance…

    • Dubs November 10, 2019 at 3:40 pm #

      King without a crown!!

  7. Sarah November 8, 2019 at 9:36 am #

    Ive always wanted to see Matisyahu and never had the opportunity before!

  8. Willow Doyle November 9, 2019 at 7:13 pm #

    My daughter and I LOVE Matisyahu! She would be very excited to experience the music live. Of course, so would I.

  9. Robin Schotter November 10, 2019 at 4:19 am #

    I would love to goto this show !

  10. Cedar November 11, 2019 at 10:22 am #

    I’d love to check them out! Always looking for new artists to add to my list! Thanks!

  11. Jopey November 11, 2019 at 1:56 pm #

    Matisyahu always kills it when he comes to town. Who wouldn’t love to go to this show!?

  12. Maya November 11, 2019 at 1:59 pm #

    Aww! Matisyahu! Pick me, pick me!

  13. maddy nico November 12, 2019 at 11:42 am #

    My main man! Would very much enjoy this <3

  14. Robin November 12, 2019 at 12:34 pm #

    Would love this!

  15. KC November 12, 2019 at 2:25 pm #

    Ahhhhh I love Matisyahu!

  16. Katia November 12, 2019 at 3:57 pm #

    I’m a big fan of Matisyahu!!

    As I have 3 little kids it’s hard to fit in the budget concerts like this. It would be a huge treat!
    Plus my husbands name is Matisyahu!

  17. Bobbie November 12, 2019 at 5:42 pm #

    Pick me!

  18. Liza November 13, 2019 at 10:12 am #

    Please !

  19. Jacob November 13, 2019 at 11:03 am #

    Ahhh I gotta take my lady to this and show her a real artist live!

  20. roy nifoussi November 13, 2019 at 5:27 pm #

    love his unique style of story telling

  21. Amanda November 14, 2019 at 2:16 pm #

    Ive been a fan since highschool!! I need to see him live!

  22. RK November 14, 2019 at 2:34 pm #

    Send ya girl to this! I need to get down!

  23. Stefan November 15, 2019 at 8:13 am #

    Would LOVE to go!!

  24. Molly November 16, 2019 at 4:49 pm #

    I truly enjoy reggae music and want to attend this show very much!

  25. Jenn November 16, 2019 at 9:38 pm #

    I’d love to win this!

  26. Marshall Hilliard November 17, 2019 at 9:26 pm #

    Matisyahu is life!! I’ve become a huge fan recently and his lyrics really connect with me.

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