Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sweet Evening Under the Stars

There is much to love about living in my fair town of Naperville, Illinois. We have a quaint downtown with a river walk, abundant green space, as well as great restaurants and shopping that (on a smaller scale, of course) rivals Chicago. In the summer, we have three major festivals that include music. Off the top of my head, in the past couple of years, you could have caught the following here: Cheap Trick, Urge Overkill, Joan Jett, Psychedelic Furs, The Alarm, The Fixx, The Smithereens, Todd Rundgren and Colin Hay from Men at Work. Those are just the ones I thought were decent. These festivals are an even bigger dream for classic-rock fans. Well, this summer has been no exception. I caught the power pop of Matthew Sweet tonight at Naper Settlement's Naper Days.

Sweet is one of my favorite '90s artists, and his set list was heavy on his two best albums, 'Girlfriend' and 'Altered Beast'. He opened with "Divine Intervention". During the next 45 minutes he zipped through "Ugly Truth Rock", "Time Capsule", You Don't Love Me", "Girlfriend" and "I've Been Waiting". He closed with "Sick of Myself" and came out for a one-song encore of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl". I believe he played only one tune from his latest, 'Sunshine Lies'.

The weather was great, the tickets were cheap and the length of the show was perfect for a family (like mine) to spread out a blanket and catch the whole thing. In these situations, I can rarely get my little ones to last more than a couple of songs. I got lucky tonight. And the best part for me was I bumped into Sweet as he was leaving, and I was able to personally thank him for a wonderful evening. I'm no whiz on the camera, but the shots of Sweet found here are from tonight's show. As a special bonus, here are a couple of "sweet" demos.

Matthew Sweet - Time Capsule (demo) (mp3)
Matthew Sweet - The Ugly Truth (demo) (mp3)

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