November 24, 2010
House of Blues Anaheim
Eschewing the laid back surfing vibe of his prior albums, Matt Costa returned with a slice of Americana filtered songs on his latest album Mobile Chateau. Backed by the Mothers Sons, Costa magically appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the crowd strumming his guitar and playing harmonica while singing "Miss Magnolia."
After navigating through some technical difficulties with his guitar, "Mobile Chateau" showcased Costa's smooth honeycombed vocals. Dipping into his back catalog, "Sweet Rose" was transformed into a chugging freight train with the addition of a banjo and the fingerpicked guitar notes.
Using an alternate microphone for the distorted vocals of "The Season," Costa showed his penchant for vocal melodies as the rest of the band joined him for backing vocals. Stepping into a time machine back to the '60s, "Witchcraft" put a spell over the audience with its ultra sunny psych pop flavor.
"Sweet Thursday" was another older song that was reconfigured as some pulses of organ spiced up the song. Costa would jump down into the crowd once more for the distorted bluesy swagger of "Next Time." Taking up a chair at the center of the stage to create a more intimate vibe, "The Ballad of Kate" demonstrated Costa's guitar playing abilities as he blazed through the foot stomping guitar riff.
Moving over to the keyboard, Costa worked through "Drive" and a crowd pleasing rendition of "Mr. Pitiful". A smoky blues vibe wafted over the crowd for "Johnny's Love of Majik" with it echoey guitars and hollow drums. Costa continued his dominance of other instruments to take up the trumpet for the percussive "Bleeding Hearts."
After thanking the audience, Costa was only off by a few days when singing about a "Cold December." Another new song, "Can You Tell Me" was a perfect encore selection to wind down the set for the appreciative hometown audience. While this show was the last of the current tour, Costa is known for randomly playing the Detroit Bar unannounced so keep your eyes peeled.
Opening the evening with their mountainous sound, Everest impressed with their top notch musicianship and well written songs. The crowd clapped along to "Keeping The Score" with its propulsive beat and Russell Pollard's yearning vocals. "East Illinois" was a slow psychedelic jam that burned hotter due to Jason Soda's ripping guitar solo.
"Rebels In The Roses" emulated the warm feel of burning embers in a fireplace with its delicately strummed guitars. Turning up the rock, "House of 9's" was a foot stomping head nodding good time. Pollard would take a turn on the drums for "Let Go" before closing out their set with "I Can See It In Your Eyes." The fans enthusiastically gave the band fist bumps at the conclusion of their set in approval.
Personal Bias: I was fortunate enough to see Matt play a secret show at Detroit Bar a few years ago.
Crowd: Most of Huntington Beach was in attendance.
Overheard in the Crowd: Sydney and her friends told me they were in line since 5 p.m.
Random Notebook Dump: Davey Latter of Everest used to play in Stanford Prison Experiment.
"Never Looking Back"
"Ballad Of Miss Kate"
"Whiskey and Wine"
"Johnny's Love of Majik"
"Behind The Moon"
"Strings of Change"
"Can You Tell Me"