Mat Kerekes Is Something To Write Home About

Carolyn Martin, Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor

Fall is the season for pop-punk. Now that it is upon us, what better way to start it off than by to going to a concert? I had the opportunity to see Mat Kerekes at The Space in Hamden, CT on Sept. 22.

If the name Kerekes sounds familiar it’s because he is also in the band Citizen. However, this tour would feature his solo work. Kerekes would be taking some friends with him as well; the band Teamonade and the band Shortly. 

Connecticut got a special surprise; Ryan Patrick White was added on to the bill last minute. I’ve seen White play once before. It was a decent performance then, but he really impressed me this time around. I’m going to give his stuff another chance now that I’ve seen him play twice. White definitely had a warmer reception from this crowd. He didn’t have to win the crowd over; they already knew him. Even in saying that, no one stood close to the stage. It was almost as if they were afraid to. It was a little strange in my opinion. 

Teamonade came on next. And I really wanted to love them, but I don’t think they’re the band for me. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t horrible, but I only liked about two of their songs. The worst part was the crowd didn’t seem to care they were performing. Normally the later you play the more people [are there] pay attention. This wasn’t the case for them. People stood in back with their respected groups and chatted the whole time. Only about five people watched their entire set, but they still deserve a fair chance. Their newest release “THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING” is out now.

Shortly came on to play next. I loved their set. They got the whole room to just stop and watch them. Even Alexandria Maniak (vocals, guitar) expressed how she wasn’t used to people giving her their undivided attention. The best example was at the end of their set. They were going to play a song called “For Sam.” This song is about Maniak’s friend who passed away when she was 14. She also explained how this song does not have a studio recording and it probably never will.

As soon they started playing until the song ended the entire crowd just stood and watched in reverent silence. Maybe it was out of respect for Sam, but it was wonderful. These guys are going to do great things and I suggest you listen to them if you haven’t yet. Their newest release “Mapping”/“Haven” is out now via Triple Crown Records.

Finally, it was time for the man we were waiting for: Mat Kerekes. This is when everyone started to get closer to the stage. This crowd wasn’t one to sing or dance, only a few individuals were bold enough to do either one. The songs “Ruby” and “Diamonds” however, got the entire crowd singing along. The best part was during “Diamonds.” It was when the whole crowd shouted “okay” the same time as the band. “Ruby” is out now via Black Cement Records.