Today’s Power Ballad was chosen in honor of Matt Nathanson, whose new record, Some Mad Hope, was released this week. Don’t understand what Matt Nathanson has to do with power ballads? Read on.

About seven years ago, I had the privilege of opening for Matt. The “band” was an acoustic power(less) trio Á¢€” me on vocals and my good friends Pete and Fred on rhythm and lead guitars, respectively. The show was in Berkeley; unfortunately, Pete was in Napa and Fred was in Nashville, so rehearsal time? Not so much. The show was a train wreck. Pete broke two strings and decided to switch to electric bass mid-set, Fred didn’t know some of the material, and I was my usual uninspired/uninspiring self. I ended by telling the audience that I was going to go and drown myself in the toilet.

Matt Nathanson, on the other hand, was flawless. Say what you will about his songs, but as a performer, he’s terrific. He had the crowd eating out of his hand for the duration of his set Á¢€” a set he finished with a rousing singalong cover of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” (download). Which is why I sort of like that song now, against my will. Fortunately for me, he didn’t perform “Something to Believe In” (download).

About the Author

Jeff Giles

Jeff Giles is the founder and editor-in-chief of Popdose and Dadnabbit, as well as an entertainment writer whose work can be seen at Rotten Tomatoes and a number of other sites. Hey, why not follow him at Twitter while you're at it?

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