Excellent! Mat Kearney at Riviera Theatre (March 10, 2018)

Mat Kearney has been coming to Chicago often since he released Nothing Left to Lose in 2006. He started at Schubas and has since played at the Metro and at the Chicago Theatre. He says playing a packed Raviera Theatre for the first time is enough to make him die happy. He has built his fan base solidly through all this touring and by releasing a solid stream of albums.

A highlight of the night is when he plays “Heartbeat” from the 2015 album, Just Kids. It’s a great dance and pop tune that makes for a joyous live performance. Kearney is all smiles and he runs around the stage. Also, in a tribute to Tom Petty, they play a bit of “Free Fallin’” in a cool slowed down version that becomes a big sing along.

For “Where We Gonna Go from Here”, it’s just Mat on acoustic guitar. It’s great when a band can switch gears like this. To have slow parts and fast parts really creates a full show. At the end of the encore, he closed with “Nothing Left to Lose” from 2006 and it sounds just as fresh as it did 12 years ago!

Quinn Delaney

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