Ask any college student if there is anything better than the concepts of “free” and “beer” and you may just get an “are you joking?” look in return. Couple the two notions and add in critically acclaimed recording artist Mat Kearney, and you have this past Friday’s “Live on King Street.”
After finding much success with last summer’s debut with Swedish pop trio Peter, Bjorn and John, the Majestic Theatre’s “Live on King Street” boasts a highly regarded reputation. Hosted by Madison’s oldest theatre and taking up the 100 block of King Street, this year’s series promises to fill not just the streets with an estimated 2,500-3,000 music-lovers per night, but the hearts of the summer souls who crave honest and great entertainment. The chain of events will extend among five different dates throughout the summer, wrapping up on September 29, 2012, with the theatre’s fifth year anniversary of hosting these pinnacle-of-summer outdoor concerts. Although the summer line-up has been released, the Majestic Theatre has not officially released who or what band will headline the anniversary date.
Last Friday, August 3rd, marked the third event of the summer series. Situated on an especially warm night of summer, the concert goers refused to let the heat interrupt their plans. The atmosphere was lively and vibrant, the streets packed with vivacious twenty-somethings anxiously awaiting headliner Mat Kearney, who took stage around 8:40 P.M.
As the sun began to set, Kearney fired up an electric performance that wooed the crowd indefinitely. The aura skyrocketed when Kearney’s genuine talent and unwavering vocals came together in a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark,” but Badger favorites like “Build Me Up Buttercup” also got the crowd going. Cracking jokes and conversing with the audience made the night only the more memorable, but the true cherry on top of the evening came after the show when the charismatic entertainer tweeted, “Madison you are beautiful!!!!” with a picture of the hundreds of fans that tightly packed the street against a backdrop of the regal Capitol building.
Mat Kearney is perhaps best known for his 2005 album entitled Nothing Left To Lose and his music has been featured on shows such as “30 Rock,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Friday Night Lights.” The Eugene, Oregon native is currently on tour with the band Train and just days before hitting Madison, he released his latest iTunes session including his EP of recent hit “Ships In The Night,” now featuring Ingrid Michaelson , “Rochester” with Brad Paisely and a brilliant cover of Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” If you missed out on Mat Kearney at “Live on King Street” or find that you just can’t get enough, Kearney has a few more tour dates sprinkled amongst the Midwest which you can find on his website. For the rest of us, be sure to check out Mat’s most recent album Young Love featuring the album’s first single, “Hey Mama.”