Identical blonde brothers, The Mattson 2, summoned a bleached out crowd to the Casbah on Saturday night and played an array of transcendent, instrumental, surf jazz that got us high on the flow state.
The audience felt distinctly North County, one that usually gathers 25 miles North in the ocean or at the Saloon. The red-lit dive venue in Little Italy was packed with people sporting fisherman beanies and drinking craft tall boys. It made sense since the Mattson’s were born and raised in Encinitas. The show felt like 100 of their closest friends and family came to watch them play.
Kid Trails opened, an indie Oakland band fronted by the touring bassist of Toro y Moi Patrick Jeffords. In between sets the touring guitarist Jordan Blackmon spun records. I cannot confirm nor deny if Toro’s brainchild Chaz Bundick was wandering around, but it would also make sense since they’re making a collab album coming out March 31 called Chaz Bundick meets the Mattson 2.
Out back, the local band Creature and the Woods played a powerful foot stomping set with the four members sitting down. Their primal, emotional songs howled deeply into the crowd’s souls. My favorite part was the tiny tambourine piece strapped to the lead singer’s boot.
Back on the main stage, twins Jared on a double-necked guitar/bass and Jonathan on the drums took stage with unapologetic grins sprawled across their exact same face. The one difference I could detect in The Mattson 2 is the direction of hair part.
They dove right in, blending their signature surf sound with jam-band style verbosity, flying through long tracks that were easy to get lost in.
Anytime they did something extra extraordinary, one brother or the other would nod and smile at the crowd in gratitude for the praise. It just made everyone go wilder. They were both intensely focused and seemed totally at ease, with facial expressions bordering pure pleasure and sweat-covered pain. Their intensely detailed riffs were any musician’s wet dream, with the pair of jazz degrees from UC San Diego and MFA’s from UC Irvine shining through.
In short, their set was impressive and incredible. Their polished, refined jazz sound mixed with the laid back beach vibe makes their music accessible to all demographics and uniquely at home in San Diego.
By: Amanda Martinek
Photos by: Ned Molder