Fascinating PeopleMatt NathansonMusicNew Hampshirephotography

The Incredible Matt Nathanson’s Benefit Concert for Uganda

By October 19, 2014 2 Comments

DSC_0925 The guitars sat quietly, waiting for the masters to start strumming their strings

DSC_0712When Matt and Aaron (childhood buddy and bandmate) take the stage, the storytelling begins. I’ve never seen anyone engage an audience the way Matt does.

DSC_0884Matt had just arrived from New York City. He was on campus to sing a benefit concert. All the proceeds from ticket sales are going to Uganda to help build a well, a project Gregor and his social entrepreneur class spearheaded after we met the inspirational Andrew Briggs, President of Freedom in Creation, and Peter Odoch last year. It’s really, really exciting to think of a village finally getting fresh drinking water – that we could rally and be a part of that.DSC_0716 In one night we raised over $18,000! DSC_0850 Matt and Aaron brought the house down!DSC_0835 DSC_0837 Raise your hands and get ready to clap for hit song, Faster!DSC_0889 The woman I sat by flew all the way from Houston by herself to see Matt up close! DSC_0907 The other very exciting part of this night was that I shot all of these photos in Manual mode (yes, I got off automatic!) It’s very difficult to shoot in the dark with a moving rockstar. Luckily, a camera pro (Taylor!), switched my settings and explained light and ISO (which is like speaking to me in Russian). Amy must take baby steps…DSC_0904 DSC_0917 DSC_0894 DSC_0922What a show! I’ve seen Matt perform many times, starting almost 20 years ago in college when my soon-to-be-fiance introduced me to his childhood buddy, a budding rockstar. It’s been amazing to watch Matt pursue his dream, to hear his voice, lyrics, and musical talent grow.

At commencement a few years ago, (he’s an alum) Matt “implored us to do the work it takes to achieve dreams. Our culture, he observed, celebrates mediocrity. We must not settle, however, for anything other than our personal best. Fear stifles the creativity and motivation needed to excel; we must learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable!”

Want to hear him singing last night? Hashtag Matt Nathanson or Proctor Academy on Instagram (including mine!) So fantastic!

After the concert Matt and Gregor had a near-midnight swim at Elbow Pond where the waters were so high it came through the floorboards of the dock. Of course they used Dr. Bronner’s pepperment soap!

I could not be convinced to take the plunge into a New Hampshire river in the middle of the night in October. Not even for a rock star.

Nelson gladly gave up his room for the man. The next morning Matt was mobbed at breakfast and lunch, from giggly girls wanting autographs, and a student who had his beautiful guitar signed with a sharpie 🙂 Yes, my friends, dreams were fulfilled this morning.

photo (1) My kids got into the spirit of things, asking for their own autographs…photoI found Paige tonight, taping hers onto the wall (she’s being a witch in a play.)

Matt is now off to London for a week “to write.” Dreamy. His new album with hit single “Headphones” (oh, I LOVE this song!) is being released in January and he’ll be going on tour next summer. If you get the chance – go. Matt Nathanson is a one-of-a-kind artist, a storyteller with a killer voice, some dance moves, and he knows how to strum a guitar!



  • Mary says:

    Great story and photos, Miss Maisy. Wonder how long it took Nate to pick out his outfit for the concert? That’s a lot of money to raise in a tiny community. Clean water transforms a community. Steven longs to “go and do” something like that. If only his wife wasn’t such a drag on him…

  • Amy Mak says:

    It’s “Matt,” Mom. Matt 🙂 And there is probably more to the outfit choice than we think…casual but cool, understated, not trying too hard but cool, accessible, relatable, low-key…but always cool!

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