Matisyahu tonight in the Main Room


Matisyahu gazes at his own high water mark.

Hey. He's been able to tour and make ends meet ever since the boom and fizzle of his entrance and exit from popular awareness (which were to closely conjoined that they're scarcely divided by sheet of newsprint). For that, we can only say "mazal tov."

We won't deny the fact that, for a moment, Matisyahu's novelty seemed to provoke some thought. A Hasidic Jewish reggae toaster? It was a bucket of cold water over the tepid and the expected.

But the thoughts he provoked were just stoned, fuzzy, afterparty musings.  Think a couchful of fraternity brothers, post bong hit, listening to "King Without a Crown" and muttering, "Dude's a Hasidic Jewish RAPPER, man! I mean, like, what the fuck! That is so fucking OUT THERE."

What is rather out there is the problem of exploitation that arises along with his name. His whole persona is a tangled mess of cross-pollenation and appropriation. A few find it inspiring. A few find it apalling. The rest, as is proven by the absence of his name from the pans in which he once so brightly flashed, are patently indifferent.

In any case, the very idea of a converted Hasid grabbing a mic and launching into pro-Israel reggae ragas is enough for any brain to try and untangle. Go to the show tonight, and your mind will likely chase its tail until it gets exhausted and decides just to reach for that one hitter and nod along.

The big bonus? Dub Trio. $26.00 might not be justifiable to see Matisyahu's neutron star hurtling ever further into the black hole's singularity. But it just might be worth seeing the immensely enjoyable and storied Brooklyn three-piece bust heads.

18+. 8:00 P.M. $26.00. With Dub Trio. First Avenue Main Room. 701 First Avenue North, Minneapolis; 612.338.8388.