One of greatest rewards of following successful artists is observing them in the flesh and seeing just how much they still enjoy connecting with people in person even after they’ve become widely regarded.
Matthew Logan Vasquez has played on big stages in his day — as the leader of Delta Spirit, he’s respected as a one-of-a-kind songwriter and a remarkable performer who pours his soul into the guitar and howls to a stimulating effect that few in rock music can achieve.
The widely beloved personality and explosive stage presence has been a part of a couple of winning side projects — while quite different, Middle Brother and Glorietta both yielded unforgettable, lasting songs — but he’s been putting out his own solo material since the mid 2010s and just dropped his fourth record, As All Get Out, last month.
Fortunate for those deeply moved by this man and his gushing, fearless and sometimes zesty compositions, his independent efforts bring the opportunity to tour the small club circuit and engage with fans in a more intimate fashion, just as he did this past Sunday night at DC9 — one of the coziest venues in the nation’s capital.
Performing tracks from Matthew’s own catalogue as well as some tunes he’s penned for different outfits, Vasquez and his impressive band delivered an explosive, blasting, and fruitful set fit for some of the most prominent stages in town.
Rather, lucky patrons gathered shoulder to shoulder on the second-floor level of tiny DC9 the night of May 21 to watch one of the best and brightest band leaders around let loose. In doing so, Vasquez set an incredibly high bar for what a performance at the busy Shaw music space can look like.
Stream Matthew Logan Vasquez’s new solo album, As All Get Out, via Spotify:
“We’ve played DC9 a few times now,” he said a few songs in. “I really like this club. … And now you can just park anywhere in D.C. … We’ll see if I get a ticket.”
Fans were treated to some of Matthew’s best solo offerings thus far, including “Untouchable” and “Over It” from his new album, but longtime favorites like “Red Fish” and “Same,” from 2017’s Does What He Wants. In choosing some of the most celebrated songs from Delta Spirit, Vasquez served up raw, invigorated takes on tracks like “Parade” and others that have helped make fans so wild for him and any of his projects.
As he went, Matthew brought patrons up to speed on each song, telling a bit about each one and what they stand for. It was a crowd that embraced the chance to hoot, move, and let their emotions out, and Vasquez showed his gratitude all night long.
Watch the official music video for Matthew Logan Vasquez’s new single, “Odysseus,” via YouTube:
He also heaped the praise on his band — comprised of multi-instrumentalist and keyboardist Sara Houser, bassist Jim Campo, and drummer Judson Johnson. His opener, Danny Golden, was invited on stage midway through the set, and Vasquez seemed to find joy in putting together such a rewarding evening for everyone involved.
“Thank y’all for coming tonight,” said Vasquez, who lives outside of Austin. “I really appreciate it. My life would be a lot different without you guys continuing to buy tickets to shows, and I mean that.”
Strange Vine (Delta Spirit)
Parade (Delta Spirit)
Vivian (Delta Spirit)
Middle Brother (Middle Brother)
Long Line of Lovers
Everything I Do Is Out
Can You Turn Me Up
Trashcan (Delta Spirit)
Here are images of Matthew Logan Vasquez and his band performing at DC9 on May 21, 2023. All photos copyright and courtesy of Casey Vock.