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Story and photos by Joe Hargreaves"All of my songs are influenced and inspired by the teachings that inspire me. I want my music to have meaning, to be able to touch people and make them think. Chasidism teaches that music is 'the quill of the soul.' Music taps into a very deep place and speaks to us in a way that regular words can't." - Matisyahu
Speak to us he did. To the filled grounds of the Miller Lite Stage, Matisyahu wove his lyrical messages in and out through backbeats of reggae and rock. His unique styling of mixing contemporary rap with beatboxing may be off-putting to the reggae purist, but offers a refreshing twist to the newcomer who appreciates the exploration and cross genre melding. Chicago Tribune's Kevin Pang has described a Matisyahu performance as "soul-shaking brand of dancehall reggae, a show that captures both the jam band vibe of Phish and the ska-punk of Sublime." He couldn't have put it anymore succinctly than that.
Matisyahu concluded his show - which happened to coincide with his birthday - by allowing the crowd to gather in the pit before allowing them on the stage to celebrate his day with him. A gift givin' for all involved.
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