Matt Nathanson brings acoustic show to CFA

Written by Fourth Estate Lifestyle Editor Genevieve Hoeler

Famous singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson—who crooned many Mason students through their adolescence and early college years with his hit song “Come on Get Higher”—will be appearing at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on April 3, 2014.

This concert will be Nathanson’s debut at Mason, although he often plays at the internationally recognized Wolf Trap in Vienna.  This performance will be one of the final shows before the singer headlines a summer tour with Gavin DeGraw, which will return him to Northern Virginia when he and DeGraw will perform at Wolf Trap.

Known for his high-quality live shows, Nathanson has been touring with noted success since he gained fame with his album “Some Mad Hope” in 2007.

“The best part about touring is being able to feel the music bounce off of the people who come to the shows,” Nathanson said. “When you get to share your music with somebody else, there’s a transcendent energy that you can’t get by yourself or when you’re just playing with the band. There’s a cycle of energy that happens, and it’s incredible.”

While studying in college, Nathanson performed and helped organize other bands to play at his school. Now, having played at many different kinds of venues besides colleges and universities, Nathanson said he found that playing at a university is like playing at somebody’s house.

“College shows have a great energy. Everyone’s a lot less guarded and ready to let go,” Nathanson said.

This show promises a unique element due to the acoustic nature of the planned concert.

Nathanson said, “For me, [acoustic shows] are more fun. There’s a lot more stories to tell and songs feel more potent in that environment.”

He will be playing most of his songs from his latest album “Last of the Great Pretenders,” which came out in July 2013, and reached number 16 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums Chart. Of his songs from the new album, Nathanson said one song he is particularly excited to play acoustically is “Earthquake Weather.”

“It’s the first song on the new record. We were in Europe touring the UK last week and I played it for the first time [acoustically] on that run and it was pretty fun; kind of moving and heavy. That’s my favorite lately,” Nathanson said.

Nathanson will be performing with Youtube sensation Noah Guthrie, who is best known for his acoustic, bluesy cover of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It,” and has appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

Although he never worked with the rising Youtube star, Nathanson said that working with new and different artists is one of the exciting parts of performing at colleges. It is not something that artists commonly get the chance to do on a typical tour.

“When we do regular tours, we always bring our own support, but it’s always fun to find new folks,” Nathanson said. “It’s fun to hear someone you’ve never heard before and in an environment where they’re just playing the guitar and singing, and you can hear the songs stripped down.”

To purchase tickets, visit the Center for the Arts box office. Nathanson and Guthrie will be performing on April 3 at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $10-$20 with a Mason student ID. General tickets and specially priced tickets for Mason faculty and staff are also available.

(Photo courtesy of the artist)