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Canadian rocker Matthew Good hit the stage at Cowboy’s Dance Hall here in Calgary last night with a vulnerable, introspective solo acoustic set of his music, filling the joint to capacity for this rare opportunity.

The last chance I had to see Matt perform live was back at the Alberta Flood Aid concert back in 2013, where he had his band and a very short time-slot between a host of other great Canuck acts.

This StubHub offering was a far different duck, and the sellout audience responded by singing along to every song, and filling in the blanks when he allowed them to.

Good’s music by its very nature has so many textures and personal elements that lend itself to a treatment like this, so it was near church-like as he mixed up his thick catalogue and added rare live performances to his set list. That said, there was plenty of favourites, based on the cheers that erupted when familiar chords or lyrics cascaded out.

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Add that extremely gentle element into the hilarious stories he shared about the process of how some songs or albums got “adjusted” along the way, and it was a night of magic for anyone that has followed his lengthy career on his own or with his band.

To hear Strange Days, A Boy And His Machine Gun, Metal Airplanes, Tripoli, and more more more stripped down to the basics, and with his earnest voice alone – wow… It doesn’t get much better than that…

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Catch up on Mr Good on his website

Opener Amy Hef earned some new fans as well, I think. Bringing her style of indie rock singer/songwriter that frequently collides with pop sensibilities, her set crackled along to get better and better before she left the stage

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With songs that reminded me a bit of Scottish rocker KT Tunstall, she also took a turn on Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues just for fun, but it worked well for me.

From her own catalogue, we got to hear Creepin’ Me Out and Being Awesome, to name just a couple of tracks. I think we may be hearing more from her…I look forward to that.

She’s got a great website you can find here.