There’s nothing better than a great Friday night rock n’ roll show. The work week is behind you and you’re ready to cut loose with some terrific live music and good friends. On this particular Friday the Boston area was treated to a rowdy night of fun with Texas musician Matthew Logan Vasquez who is touring in support of his great new album, Does What He Wants, released April 21st on Dine Alone Records.
With a handful of solo records, as well as his work with Delta Spirit and Middle Brother, Vasquez created a setlist from the vast array of tunes in his arsenal that kept the sold-out crowd in high spirits. Kicking off the evening with the guitar shredding tune, “Stand Up,” from 2016’s Solicitor Returns got everyone raising their beers high and singing “Stand up against the wall” at the top of their lungs. Heading into another fan favorite from the album, “Personal,” Vasquez had already delivered a barn burner of show two songs into the performance.
There were only three songs from Does What He Wants included in the set, which is the only criticism I have as I do love that album. The latest single, “Same,” is made to be played live and the band played the hell out of it. Sure we were all hoping for a surprise visit on stage from The Suffers singer Kam Franklin, who provides her amazing voice to the studio recording, but the audience filled in her part nicely. “Red Fish” and “Fires Down in Mexico” were the other two selections from the album and were killer live.
Mid-set the band left for a few solo numbers which had Vasquez remind the crowd that it was quiet time and directed those who would like to talk during his acoustic set to kindly take their conversations elsewhere for a while. What followed as a beautiful version of Paul Simon’s “Duncan,” a few Delta Spirit numbers including a personal favorite, “Scarecrow,” and a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Old Revolution.”
With the band back on stage they tore through Delta Spirit’s “Crippler King,” and “Bushwick Blues” followed by Middle Brother favorites “Theater” and “Blue Eyes.” Raising his cup Vasquez saluted the crowd before tearing into what has become his standard kick-ass closer “Everything I Do Is Out” in which he screams “Rock and roll can never die!” As long as MLV is on the scene it never will.