(13 Aug 2013: Irving Plaza New York)
Matt Hires released his second full length album This World Won’t Last Forever, But Tonight We Can Pretend (Atlantic) on the same day he performed at Irving Plaza, about five years from the first time he performed at the venue. This achievement is certainly a milestone for the 28 year old whose first album Take Us to the Start had come out four years prior. Currently he’s on tour opening for the band Parachute, who attract a rabid female audience - some of whom thronged around the merch table after Hires’ set to meet and get a photo with the musician.
Hires’ sound has a ‘90s sensibility to it, with possible influences from Counting Crows (he sounds a bit like Adam Duritz and has said he’s tired of the comparison so that’s where I’ll end that), Dave Matthews and Matt Costa amongst others. The image of a past musical-era leaves the impression that Hires still has some growing to do to find his own sound, but given time he’s likely capable of that. On his new album, Hires has crafted several radio-friendly alt-rock songs including “Wishing on Dead Stars” and “I am Not Here”. The latter made it into his brief set and is sung from the perspective of someone seemingly misguided, at times rousing himself with the lyrics “I am somebody’s brother / Somebody’s son” yet ending with the statement “I am not here”.
Like any good performer, Hires and his backing band strove to get the audience involved, notably during the couple of other set highlights including the older song “State Lines”. Hires added some lines from The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done” and encouraged the audience to sing along cause they must know the words. It was forseeable that his final song would be the country-spirited “Restless Heart”, the first single from the new album. The song is driven by rollicking guitars, has harmonies from the other musicians, included a crowd-uniting clapping segment and is infectious enough to work its way into your ear just enough that you have to hear it again.
Sound of Falling in Love
State Lines (w/ The Killers tag)
I am Not Here
Do You Wanna Dance?
A to B