Live Review: Matisyahu

When it’s time to dust off the disco ball Dreidel, it means that it’s time for the Festival of Light.

Live Review: Matisyahu
Last night, the second night of his sixth annual Festival of Light at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Matisyahu played a lengthy set with two unannounced guests, all to a full audience.

A boy in a yarmulke hopped from the lip of the stage for a go at crowd surfing and black caps and traditional wide-brimmed hats poked out throughout the audience—the heavy Jewish presence in the audience was pretty clear. Under a Dreidel disco ball fit for the home of Lenny Kravitz, this Hanukkah-themed show couldn’t have been in a better place than Williamsburg, a neighborhood with one of the largest Hassidic Jewish communities in the world.

The set was heavy on the electronic side, especially on “Struggla” with a digitalized voice singing backup, and the show took a big shift when Citizen Cope took the stage early on in the set to play two songs, him on vocals and acoustic guitar with Matisyahu beat-boxing. And then something inexplicable happened when Stan Ipcus took the stage.

I don’t know who this guy is. Apparently, he’s from Matisyahu’s childhood home in White Plains, New York, and they’re probably close friends, judging from the number of times they embraced with complicated handshake chest bumps on stage (about ten times I think). Stan Ipcus was dressed like an off-the-job investment banker and I’m suspicious that it was his first time ever rapping for an audience.

The Festival of Light is migrating to Clifton Park, New York for tonight’s show and returns on the 4th for another go at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. And if anyone has any information about Stan Ipcus, please let me know immediately.

Here’s the new Matisyahu song “Miracle”: