When I reflect on Matt Ryd‘s record release show at Schubas on September 10, I think I’ll always remember how giddy and excited Matt was both before and during what must have been a nearly sold-out set. The joint was packed, and playing in front of hundreds of people set Matt in a craze. He was like a kid in a candy store.
I asked him whether he’d played at Schubas before, and he said no. It was his first time.
Forgive me if I’m wrong here, but in the little time I’ve lived in Chicago — three months — I believe I’ve picked up on the importance of playing at a venue like Schubas. Of the smaller clubs, Schubas seems to be one of the highest profile. (If not, well, the highest profile).
Its owners, brothers Chris and Mike, opened up Lincoln Hall in 2009. And that gorgeous building, which has a capacity of just over 500, helps extend Chris and Mike’s influence on the Chicago music scene and, in a way, pump up the Schubas brand.
With both venues, the brothers have begun somewhat of an empire in the city, and it’s exciting to see the range of talent that filter in and out of both clubs.
Anyway, the grin plastered on Matt Ryd’s face throughout the evening was understood. As was the number of times he broke from his music to thank everybody for coming out in support of the acts that preceded him and, of course, his record release. Matt’s a genuine fellow, and I could spot it a mile away.
Matt sounded a lot like he did on his debut album, Looking for Home, and that’s usually the sign of talent. Good artists are the ones who can reproduce their sound again and again without fake aids. Or better yet, even improve on what they can do in the recording studio.
Alongside Matt were troupes on keys, drums, bass and, my fav, a violin. I think using violins as lead instruments is exciting. Canasta does it, and it’s wonderful. Mixing rock-pop with strings will always get the thumbs up from me.
Matt’s show on Friday was an honest one, and I can tell he’s writing and singing because he wants to be.