Israel and I stood in front of the stage at the Marquee Theater waiting for Matisyahu to come out and play. We still had the opening band to endure and the two teens near us gave fair warning. “Matishyahu is notorious for having really bad opening bands,” they said.
My first impression when Trevor Hall walked onto the stage seemed a confirmation. His appearance lacks color contrast: his very fair skin is not offset by his pale blond hair. Nor was it highlighted by the non-color of his knit reggae headband, a tan that blended right into his hair. I did love the dreads shooting out of that headband and Trevor’s bare feet, but so far, his appearance wasn’t making a huge impression. We were all just excited for Matisyahu to come out.
And then the guy started playing his guitar and singing. And dancing around on his bare feet. And being really joyful as he shared his music. Okay, here’s the thing: it’s totally not cool to describe a musician as joyful. But this dude is the most joyful musician I’ve ever been lucky enough to watch. He makes you glad you’re alive. I love his music. But even more than that, I love to watch him make it.
As Trevor played, everyone in the crowd around us exchanged a bunch of “Who is this guy?” looks. We all loved him — the screams from the audience made it clear it wasn’t just Israel and me who would have paid the same ticket price just for the opening act. That’s why we’re going to see him again in a couple of weeks. He’s coming to The Compound Grill in Phoenix on March 6th.
With so many bands and musicians on the radio all sounding the same, I love the ones who infuse their own unique personality into their music. Trevor definitely has his own unique characteristics — Listen in the video above for the way he starts many lines and notes with this crazy sort of emotional squeak. Squeak? That’s an awful word for what he does but it’s the most accurate description I can think of. I love Trevor’s “squeaking.” Or maybe he’s squawking…? You tell me.
Anyone in Phoenix want to join us at The Compound Grill to watch Trevor? Tickets are only $10 (or $12 at the door).
Need to hear more first? Watch this video about my favorite of his songs, a collaboration with Matisyahu…