I WAS THERE . . . Johnathan Rice/Matt Costa @ Bowery Ballroon 3/3/08
American cutie-pie Johnathan Rice and his twangy Americana slurry opened for Matt Costa last Monday night. Something in Costa’s awkward swagger managed to sell out Bowery Ballroom, where “Mr. Pitiful” (Costa’s single from his latest full-length) himself kept tune with guitar in hand. Monday night being the first day one could walk outside without frostbite, the albums songs went over best with a crowd ready to sing familiar words about “Yellow Taxi Cabs.” Fans like to pretend that Costa’s this country’s next Dylan just because his compact statue uses a harmonica. But as entertaining as his flowery live show is, he is not a Dylan—he is a Costa. Watching him perform is like seeing history in the iridescent and upbeat making. And there is not a more pleasing way to spend a night than with him and Rice.
—Tania Katherine Dworjan