Plato once said “music gives soul to the universe”. In my twenty years of attending performances, Matthew Miller could not be a better physical description of a universal musical togetherness. This Jewish Reggae-Rapper is nothing short of his name, “Gift of God” or Matisyahu. His aptness to capture emotion in his productions and real life though lyric is unique and highly respected. A useful rarity that many people seek to live. More importantly, he IS a musical mediator amongst this modern monster we call life.
Thursday’s sold out performance was a major buzz before doors opened at The Music Farm in downtown Charleston. There was a free flow of non-strangers, friends, and family from sixteen to seniors. The venue’s intimate space enhanced a cordial mood.
Matisyahu’s presence was a stream of compassion and gratitude. Adhering to his audience, leaving no album un-heard. From his latest, Akeda, an arrow hit home with Broken Car. Sunshine, One Day, King Without A Crown, and Jerusalem were a few familiar favorites. Ears were also treated to his beat boxing talent. His voice touched the soul, leaving behind a string of internal tears.
The artist-crowd interaction was an overwhelming feeling of being welcomed into his home as friends and neighbors. Intrusting his fans to catch his fall as he crowd-surfed and inviting them to dance; each one greeted with a handshake or hug.
Piecing together pain from his past with lyrics like “out of darkness comes light”, “false pride is suicide”, and “this life can’t be bought nor sold”; Matisyahu has created a soul-seeking therapy in which all ages can relate to at one form or another. Again his positivity enables him to reach out to a misguided world. In a time where we are overrun by technology and materials, it was a blessing to hear and interact with an almost tangible memory that is a “Gift of God”.
Photos by Josh Ortiz