Matt Costa at the Paradise, February 29, 2008
Young girls in the front row squirmed in anticipation to see the man whose music career never should’ve never happened. After an accident that put his pro skateboarding career on hold, Matt Costa turned to music and brought his California tunes to the Paradise last Friday to warm up the cold Boston night.
Jesus look-alike Jonathan Rice opened the show, and his lyrics were anything but uplifting. Singing about tainted love and blue-eyed Egyptians, Rice’s performance was mellow; but a sing-along stirred up the crowd. “We’re all stuck out in the desert and we’re all gonna die,” he sang as the crowd joined in.
Matt Costa appeared on stage with a strum of his guitar as the red lights draped his skinny body and flickered with each chord. His bandmates followed after him and huddled around the singer, motionless, statuesque. Costa’s mustache puts Ron Jeremy to shame and his lyrics stay in your head like a bad Britney Spears song, all adding to the catchy folk effect that Costa is known for.
He began the show with “Taxi Cab,” about escaping your troubles through a simple cab ride to anywhere, setting the bar for a night of angelic tunes and country twang. Towards the middle of the show, Costa shuffled to his keyboard and hunched over the keys as if someone had threatened to steal it. With the touch of two keys, “Mr. Pitiful” began, the crowd erupted, and Costa’s southern comfort turned into a pop star fiasco.
As the night came to a close, Costa made a toast: “This is dedicated to Mark Twain and Samuel Clemens, whether you are in heaven or in hell,” he said, drink in hand. He ended the show with his harmonica and guitar and a warm, California jam encore which left the crowd thawed.
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