The Birchmere will experience Matthew Sweet’s energetic blend of new and old power pop music on Wednesday, July 16, giving the audience just what they need; a fun rock show.
Sweet has been making and performing music since the 1980s, but it wasn’t until 1991’s “Girlfriend” that he really broke out with the title track as a Top-10 single as well as heavy rotation of the music video on various music channels. Since then Sweet has been releasing album after album and touring.
“Well, generally I’m regarded as power pop, which is sort of a little bit rock ‘n’ roll reckless behavior mixed with more melodic sensibility,” Sweet said. “There are a lot of power pop people that I revere and it kind of fits that I am in that genre.”
Sweet plays rhythm guitar and performs with a full band that includes Dennis Taylor on lead guitar, Pail Chastain on bass and Rick Menck on drums. Sweet explained their shows have a lot of energy and excitement on some songs, while others are more melancholy and “dreamy.”
“Our shows are generally filled with people who really know my music and are big fans. It’s almost like a communal experience because we feed of off that,” Sweet said. “We expect it to be a great show.”
Sweet has been playing music and touring since the ‘80s and a lot has changed for him since then, especially when playing live.
“I’m a lot more comfortable playing live now than I was then. There was more stage fright and more hang ups,” he said. “For me now it’s more of a free feeling, like seeing a bunch of friends.”
He said the set they will be playing is still a little “Girlfriend” heavy because they just finished up a tour where they played the whole album through, but there will be some newer things, too.
“It’s probably going to focus more on older stuff, although it will be a wide variety,” Sweet said.
“Modern Art” is Sweet’s most recent album which came out in 2011, but he has plans for a new one in the near future which he will use a Kickstarter campaign to fund. A week into the campaign, he had almost reached 30 percent of his goal and he is excited to play these shows because he wants to be able to spread the word about the campaign.
Sweet is offering one-of-a-kind incentives to the people who donate by promising them some of his unique artwork including hand painted, 3-D-printed art and bronze-casted cat sculptures.
“I’m making the art pieces, I’m a potter,” Sweet said. “I’ve been making it on the wheel for about a dozen years and I’ve sold my pottery before so it’s grown out of my pottery thing and experimenting with a 3-D printer.”