JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

January 25, 2014
House of Blues - Dallas
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Nolan Smith
Photos by 

Matt Wertz

Everything's Right Tonight

Matt Wertz got his start playing for church shows and in front of Young Life audiences while cutting his teeth in the industry playing alongside Jars of Clay. Playing a large array of sing-along songs Wertz has that unique ability as a songwriter and composer to make songs that go together well and sound familiar the first time you hear it. Now on his eighth album by my count (non-EP, non-single) Matt seems to have found his niche and defined his overall sound. It's only fitting that I personally saw him play alongside Dave Barnes at a local Dallas church with Young Life approximately 4 years ago. At that time I'd not heard of Matt Wertz but was a fan of Dave Barnes. I was won over almost immediately.

Playing at the House of Blues in Dallas, it was clear that over the years Matt has been working on his craft. He has become a real performer and a joy to watch. Matt played with a great deal of energy and excitement, really giving an inspiring performance from the first song on. The crowd sand along to every song and made a nice interactive chorus for those songs he requested audience participation.

It would be hard to pick out the individual top moment of the night from the 13 song set list and 3 song encore (16 songs total with all the big hits like Everything's Right). However, I can narrow it down to two for you. The first would be an upbeat version of "5:19" during which in mid-song when the audience took over singing the chorus the band came back to life by playing Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," merged into Keisha's song "Roar." This got the whole crowd bouncing and dancing with Matt as he came full circle to the closure of 5:19 and an impressive way to end the set before a well orchestrated encore three song set.

 

The second moment was the last song of the night, "I will not take my love away," which the 4 piece band came down off the stage and stood in the middle of the lower level crowd with a couple of drums and guitars to sing unplugged standing with the adoring fans. It was a very unique experience and for those of us close enough to hear every word, it was one of the best things I've seen done in a relatively small venue. My only critique would be he still needs a wireless microphone to set in the middle of the group as they play, the upper deck and fans near the back of the venue could not hear what was going on very well.

Bottom line is that if you are lucky enough to have Matt Wertz coming to a venue within a tank of gas from you, I'd fill'er up and don't miss him live. If you can find a date for the event that would be a very savvy move.


Set List
Get to you
Last good girl
Whenever you love somebody
Everything's Right
Someone like you
Take it or leave it
Acoustic Version of Marianne
What I know right now
Running back to you
The way I feel
Loved by you
Carolina
5:19
Encore
Snow Globe
Red Meets Blue
I will not take my love away