Trevor Hall, smiling and slightly embarrassed, brought his song to a screeching halt before the first verse was finished. “Wait, wait, those weren’t the right lyrics,” he admitted, grinning toward the crowd. “Sorry, let’s try that again.” Clad in a blue wife-beater and strapped to an acoustic guitar, Hall started the same introduction a second time with a new set of opening lyrics and he settled back into the already established, energetic groove of his reggae-heavy set. Opening for Matisyahu at House of Blues, Hall displayed charisma and comfort on stage at a time when other artists might have flinched. His easy-going stage presence transmitted an energized calm that zipped through the crowd like an electric current.
Hall’s new album, Everything Everytime Everywhere, shows his ambition as a musician to decipher through art how we can live more fully as a community rather than as a summation of individuals, thematically adhering to his idols Bob Marley and Ben Harper. The set was high-energy across the board, and even though some of his songs were moderate in tempo, the crowd was always active whether they were excitedly flailing to fast-paced guitar solos or swaying in place to Hall’s lyrical ballads.
Hall’s strength, in addition to the talented band he has built around him, is in his unique voice, which is not only used for simply spitting lyrics, but as a musical instrument in its own right, displaying melodic and often percussive qualities. In his single “Brand New Day,” Hall displays his rock and hip-hop influences while showing off his range in the lyric-less bridge.
Matisyahu, whose stage attire consisted of a white, flat-brimmed New York Yankees hat and a royal blue blazer out of which dropped four severely frayed ropes from his tzitzit, delivered a show the crowd had expected from the talented and seasoned performer. He played several songs from his successful album, Youth, among others, all of which sounded distinct from his studio recordings. Throughout the show, with the help of synths on stage, the exceptional sound system in House of Blues blared bass that shook the room and the bones of the concertgoers, a feeling akin to what it must feel like to lift-off inside of a rocket.