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Matisyahu Unites with Music and Culture

“Feel free to sit down, this is going to be an acoustic show,” American Hasidic Jewish Reggae-Rap artist Matisyahu said, as he opened his set on the HUB lawn last night. If you think his description is a mouthful, just try singing along.

The beat-boxing from Matisyahu echoed off the HUB walls while students gathered for the Jewish Life Festival, celebrating Rosh Hashanah in a week.

“This is the third year we’ve had these beginning of the year events,” Rabbi Nusson Meretsky, adviser of the Jewish student organization, said. “This is an all-inclusive Jewish cultural festival; we have Jewish food and games, even music.

Just after 6:30, as the sun was beginning to wane, Matisyahu began playing. After playing his hit “Jerusalem,” he had a question for the audience, “So do you want to hear ‘King Without a Crown’ now or later?” He got the hint from the multitude of cheers that followed.

Matisyahu’s crowd grew as the night progressed, full of girls dancing to the side, ultimate Frisbee in the background and a whole lot of head swaying.

“Before we go any further, does anyone have a hacky sack?” Matisyahu asked. “In about 20 minutes we’re gonna play in the back corner.”

Perceptive to the audience, Matisyahu played some faster songs, including the dub-step like beats he was making himself. He also made the announcement that fans can look forward to a new album called Live at Stubbs, Vol. 2 to be released in January.

As the acoustic session neared an end, Matisyahu thanked the crowd and quickly started up an encore before it was even requested. Playing several new songs from the aforementioned album, Matisyahu picked up the pace of his beats. The crowd stood up and moved in for an even more intimate performance for the encore.

The concert definitely left the entire audience impressed. With the combination of a rare acoustic performance interluded with beat-boxing, it proved that music can bring cultures together.

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