As mentioned previously, The Matt O’Ree Band returned to Stamford, CT. This was a two night engagement. The first night at our old home venue The Rack N Roll Cafe involved a night of acoustic music from the boys. This show was planned to be as a completely different experience to what the area was about to see the next night. Two sets of blues, and rock tunes played not necessarily toned down, just different timbre and energy if you will. Speaking with those in attendance it was clearly a great idea. Some had seen The Matt O’Ree Band in the past and really enjoyed seeing them in this dimension. Others were enjoying their first experience with them. These first timers were telling me that the music was awesome but you could feel it could explode at any moment and they were getting this anxious feeling to see that happen. That was what the next night was for…….
6PM August 2nd, Stamford, CT. The annual Alive @ 5 Concert Series was at its 7th and final show. Frank Viele and the Manhattan Project had already left the stage. At this point, quite a few thousand had come into Columbus Park for the show which featured Foreigner as the headline act. The local Classic Rock station 95.9 The Fox had their morning djs up MCing the show. I took a position at stage left near the merchandise tent to see the reaction. I look through the crowd. This was a very mixed audience with almost equal parts of every age group. But there just a couple rows back. A sizable group of young kids. Pre-teens, mid-teens, late-teens. and early twenties. They introduce The Matt O’Ree Band. That moment the world seemed to change. That moment it was proven that musicianship and pure Rock & Roll energy are still appreciated in today’s world of Lady Gagas and techno wizard dance music. I watched these kids down front explode. Dancing and screaming with every note from Matt’s guitar and Eric’s keys. Shaking their fists to every beat of John’s drums and the rolling groove laid down by Scott’s bass. I walked around to see the reaction. People are on their phones yelling to someone on the other end “ARE YOU HERE YET? THESE GUYS ARE FUCKING AMAZING! HURRY UP!” And similar statements. Many were dancing. Some just shaking their head to the beat, some tapping their foot. The crowd continued to pour in and load up at the stage. Pushing to get closer. Screaming at every song. Whistling and cheering at every guitar or organ solo. Then John’s drum solo! This was not that every rock concert drum solo. And people recognized that! I heard shouts of “really?”. As the solo progressed the crowd began to surge with even more energy. The here and there whistling became more and more present. The once and a while “YEAAAAAH” became a building wind of screams. The band joins back in to finish the song and now the crowd is just jumping up and screaming with their hands reached out as if to try and grab their handfuls of this magic pouring off of the stage.
At this point, I could not tell you how many people were at the stage area. You couldn’t see through or around it. This was the view near the end of the show taken from Matt’s IPhone (notice how far back you can see hands raised?):
After the show. The guys signed autographs and took pictures with lots of people as the crowd waited for Foreigner to take the stage. Word comes to us that Foreigner wishes for us to stick around to meet up after the show. A crew member of Foreigner’s informs me that the guys in their band feel they have to really step up their game because of the way The Matt O’Ree Band energized this crowd. After Foreigner’s show the members of the band came back to the bus area to talk to the guys and express how impressed they were.
To me the greatest moment was during the autographs after the M.O.B guys came off stage. I happily retell the story here. With a crowd of people surrounding the guys, I noticed a kid of maybe 12 or 13 years old standing behind Eric as Eric signs an autograph. Eric turns and the kid reaches out his hand and touched Eric’s shirt. Eric leans down and the kid quietly says “you were really great”. I notice two Xs written on his hand in magic marker. This came from the entry gate to signal he was under age for alcohol. Turning to the kid, I joke about the marks and ask Eric to autograph his arm so the Xs would look cool! Eric was hesitant but a smile came over the kids face and he says “would you please”. After Eric signs his right arm he also asks him to sign a pair of white sunglasses. Eric does so and shakes his hand. The kid runs off to his parents who were standing just off to the side. They reach out to him as he shows them, with a big smile on his face, his souvenirs from Eric.
If you did not get the chance to see either or both performances. You missed quite a lot. But we will be posting pictures soon from both nights.
BNK Productions is proud to represent The Matt O’Ree Band in the North East. They are an amazing bunch of guys. Caring and friendly, but powerful in their craft. Their CD’s are available on ITunes or Amazon. And you can check them out at their website: www.mattoree.com
Also check out photo galleries from:
The Stamford Advocate (many of the crowd shots in the daylight in this gallery were during The Matt O’Ree Band’s performance)
And also check out these awesome pics of the acoustic performance the night before from Aaron Kershaw
Most of all, keep an eye out as we bring them back in couple months as they continue to tour the country.