Live Review: blackbear invigorated the crowd with high energy, tight musicianship and baring his soul on the Philadelphia stop of his nothing matters tour.
At the Fillmore in Philadelphia on the third date of blackbear’s nothing matters tour, supporting artist Mod Sun warmed up the diverse crowd that had packed in. (Be sure to check out my interview with Mod Sun in support of his latest album Internet Killed the Rockstar). Mod radiated energy and went through a strong 7 song set that ended with his latest single Battle Scars, followed by Flames, the fiery anthem with fiancée Avril Lavigne. Mod’s “good vibes only” energy had the crowd whipped up and ready for blackbear.
After a short break, a video package opened the show firing up the already hyped up crowd. Opening with two songs from everything means nothing (one of my favorite albums ever, which criminally never got its own supporting tour due to the pandemic) the packed house went absolutely insane. This audience was extremely diverse ranging from teens (and even a die-hard, dyed haired kid) through a couple I spoke with in their mid 50's who became blackbear fans from his latest album, in loving memory. A young woman proudly yelled, "It's my mother f*cking 40th!" before the show had even started, welcoming screams of support and congratulations. This diversity is reflected in blackbear himself, who told me his shows are a place where people can find a safe space where they're accepted and can forget about their troubles for a few hours. And forget about our troubles we did.
The live band was tight and brought out a different side to the catalogue songs he played throughout his set, bringing them a bit more in line sonically with the punk pop sound of his new album, in loving memory. It was a fresh way to hear these songs that so many of us have heard countless times, but not so different that they lost their musical identities.
Speaking of the songs performed, while the tour is in support of in loving memory, blackbear, known otherwise as Mat Musto, packed in songs from every one of his albums into the set list, giving first time blackbear show goers like me an amazing chance to hear these songs live. Not only that, but he highlighted his songwriting career playing some of the recent hits he's written for other artists including Kane Brown (Memory), Machine Gun Kelly (make up sex) & Avril Lavigne (Love It When You Hate Me). It's a subtle - and singable - way to show another aspect in the full range of his artistry.
And side note: he performed stfu from Mansionz - his project with Mike Posner - check out my interview with him here) and there on the floor of The Filmore in Philadelphia, I died, was revived and died again as a key track from one of the best albums ever turned into a rousing electric guitar based jam. Thanks to the gym bros next to me for totally going HAM with me on a highlight in a show packed with highlights.
blackbear is an incredibly dynamic performer whose stage presence demands that all eyes are on him. His live voice is extremely strong & in the industry in general - highly, highly underrated. He seamlessly transitions from breakneck spit-fire rapping to belting out full on emo rock bangers to hitting R&B runs in a beautiful - and beautifully strong - falsetto. He is quite literally the whole package.
The show is high energy from start to finish, packing in 17 songs before Musto goes off stage for a moment while the band continues on. Then he returns for 8 more songs, throwing the crowd into a near orgasmic frenzy. 26 songs? Your faves could never.
From Mod Sun to blackbear himself, the entire nothing matters tour package is a visual representation of everything that Mat Musto’s blackbear represents: incredible musicianship, striking visuals, a confessional vulnerability, love and acceptance and of course...mother fudgin bops.
Get your tickets here to the blackbear 'nothing matters tour' before it sells out...and it will.
‘nothing matters tour’ Dates:
9/4/22 – Atlanta, GA – Coca Cola Roxy
9/7/22- Washington, DC – The Anthem
9/8/22 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore Philadelphia
9/10/22 – Boston, MA – Leader Bank Pavilion
9/11/22 – New York, NY – The Rooftop at Pier 17
9/13/22 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
9/14/22 – Cincinnati, OH – The Andrew J Brady Music Center
9/16/22 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
9/17/22 – Chicago, IL – Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom
9/18/22 – Minneapolis, MN – The Fillmore Minneapolis
9/22/22 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
9/23/22 – Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl
9/25/22 – San Diego, CA – SOMA
9/26/22 – Los Angeles, CA – YouTube Theater
9/29/22 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre