Matrimony, a band that started in Charlotte, played at the Visulite Theatre on Thursday, Dec. 29 to a packed and happy crowd. This was their first show at home since touring the past four or five months — not to mention a great way to end the year.
Matrimony’s music blends indie rock with subtle folk roots. They fuse different sounds and instruments, creating meaningful songs with an original feel. It is easy to see why they are quickly gaining attention.
Matrimony began as a duo in 2009 with two talents combining forces in marriage and music. Musicians Ashlee Hardee Brown and her Americana-rock influences merged with Jimmy Brown and his Irish-folk roots. In early 2011, Jordan Hardee and Alex Watson joined the band, and, a few months later ,they were followed by their younger brother, “C-J” Hardee, making Matrimony more of a family affair.
When listening to live or recorded performances, you can’t miss that this group shares a common passion for their music. Matrimony is currently working on their second album. Updates can be found on their Facebook page.
The Visulite Theatre — which has been around for years — is located on the edge of uptown Charlotte in the heart of the historic Elizabeth community. With plenty of free parking, the Visulite Theatre is inviting and intimate, a little funky with just enough room to move. Make sure to arrive early if you want a seat. The pit area in front of the stage is great for dancing, and the layout is staggered for better viewing. Of course, if you are close to the band, the sound can be so intense, your heart thumps to the performers’ beat. (But, even in the back, the sound is good.)
Like many bands, you may hear acoustical as well as electric versions of their music. The tunes on Matrimony’s website are softer, unplugged versions. The Visulite show was definitely loud and electric. Same music, different feel.
The draw with Matrimony’s music is multifaceted. Their original songs are well written. Lyrics have meaning and music is woven with unusual combinations of sounds, both voices and instruments. The drumming is more like a deep heartbeat, yet varied and precise. The spattering of banjo and other folk sounds add welcomed depth and richness.
Whether they are playing loud or soft, individually or all together, there is a palpable sense of joy coming from all the members of Matrimony. They also have a genuine connection with the audience and later in the show even encourage audience participation.
Matrimony is definitely a band to watch and it is no surprise they just signed a Columbia Records deal.
The Visulite Theatre is located at 1615 Elizabeth Ave., Charlotte.