An Intimate Evening With NEEDTOBREATHE + Matt Maeson


A single spotlight shines on the small theater stage as the opener walks downstage. Matt Maeson, a native of Norfolk, Virginia, begins strumming his small acoustic guitar. Maeson’s first song of the night is “Grave Digger,” the lead track off of his 2017 EP “Who Killed Matt Maeson.” His voice rings throughout the theater, which sounds even better than the studio version. Between songs, he addresses the audience, telling stories and jokes, which made the set feel extremely personal. Matt reveals that he wrote the song “Me and My Friends Are Lonely” on top of an abandoned Wendy’s while he was touring the country by himself and living in his car.

I have been a fan of Matt for a hot minute, and seeing him live was incredible. His simple set, with just his guitar and himself, created a warm, enveloping atmosphere, that invited all to dive into his past through his words. Matt’s voice has such rich qualities to it, but enough rasp to fit the type of music he is performing. I was truly blown away by his tremendous talent, and I highly recommend listening to his entire discography. His debut album, “Bank On The Funeral” drops April 5th, and his sold out headline tour to celebrate it kicks off April 17 in Denver, Colorado. I even met Matt after the show, and he was such a sweetheart. He is genuinely filled with a passionate fire for the music he makes. Check him out, and catch him live if you can!


The main act of the night, NEEDTOBREATHE, had a breathtaking set on stage. The entire band was sitting in front of long, thin lights that looked gorgeous! All the songs were stripped versions, as it was an acoustic show, but they still rocked the house. Similar to Matt Maeson earlier in the night, the main vocalist, Bear Rinehart, prefaced songs with tales of how they came to be, which were very enjoyable. Even though NEEDTOBREATHE had a more extravagant set, and there were more people on stage, the welcoming atmosphere introduced by Matt’s set lingered. The audience was singing and laughing with the band, and everyone in the room was purely enjoying the moment. NEEDTOBREATHE played a mixture of older songs like “Brother” and “Something Beautiful”, while mixing in new tracks from their latest album. The audience seemed to know every word. The communal joy found through the music resulted in a beautiful night.