an open letter to matthew (opening band for starsailor)

Dearest Matthew,

I had heard good things about your music, so I was interested to see what you had to offer. I mean, you guys were opening up for Starsailor. You have to be doing something right to get that slot, right? Well, at the very least, you have to be a new artist on the same label or something. Anyway, how you got the gig isn’t really important.

Your music is good. It’s not great, but it’s good. Nice melodies, a lead singer with range, which he uses wisely, and judging from my initial exposure to your band, fair songwriting. Oh, and the name of your band, what wit! Matthew is the name of one guy, but you have four people in the band. It’s kind of like Ben Folds Five being three guys. I like a sense of humor.

Now, explain to me why your drummer wasn’t wearing a shirt, from start to finish. Sure, the El Rey can get warm with all of those bodies packed in for a sold out crowd, but the temperature hadn’t reached anywhere near warm when you took the stage. I wasn’t up there, but I was about thirty or so feet away and there couldn’t have been that big of a difference in temperature on the drum riser. Walking on stage with your shirt off just isn’t right. Stop it. You are not Lars from Metallica and you don’t rock all that hard. That’s not to say your music is bad, but it’s not take-your-shirt-off rock ‘n’ roll.

As if that weren’t enough, Matthew, the fact that your guitarist felt the need to remove his shirt a few songs into the set just added to the silliness and otherwise distracting antics. If anyone should be removing their shirt, it should be your drummer, but we’ve already gone over that faux pas.

All of this shirt-removing made the experience sub par. I wish I could have spent more time enjoying your music, but your novice showmanship brought out the snobbiest of my music snobbery. If you learned anything while being on tour with Starsailor, it should have been that you can still be cool with your shirts on, no matter how hot it gets up there. Sweat-soaked shirts, drops of perspiration dripping from your hair…that’s rock ‘n’ roll.

All The Best,

Brad Barrish