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Costa leads crowd in Legends jamboree

Courtney Eckerle | Sunday, February 26, 2012


Pied piper is perhaps a more fitting moniker for Matt Costa than indie folk singer-songwriter. He ended his Saturday night concert at Legends nightclub by exiting the stage through the crowd, leading them in a guitar and harmonica jamboree. 

Opening act Ratboy (band name soon to be changed for legal reasons, and it is taking suggestions) was a pleasant and fitting prelude to Costa. The group held its own in a crowd of Costa fans, surprisingly extending beyond the plaid and thick-rimmed glasses crowd. 

The duo’s acoustic set, highlighted by lead singer Julia Steiner’s pretty and light vocals, nicely contrasted with Dave Sagan’s bass guitar. They brought to mind the 2007 “Juno” soundtrack; the duo would have fit right in with their upbeat sound and lyrics that brought the crowd into an inside joke. 

Before Costa’s jubilant exit, he proved himself to be a musician of the people. In between songs, he was telling stories, recommending “the best beer I’ve had in a while” from Legends restaurant (Bell’s Hopslam Ale) and engaging in general lively repartee with the crowd. It seemed as if he was just hanging out with a crowd of his good Notre Dame buddies. 

This continued after the show where Costa came out and spent time greeting everyone. He was taking pictures, of course, but mostly he talked and answered questions. He asked two girls the best places to see at Notre Dame, and when they named the Grotto, he innocently replied, “What’s the Grotto?” After the initial moment of shock, he was brought into the Domer loop. 

During his performance, Costa rocked two guitars, but the real groove started when he brought out the harmonica, which he used for the majority of his songs. “Miss Magnolia” was magnificently done half a capella, and “Mr. Pitiful” had the entire crowd singing along. 

Costa was honest and fun with the crowd, even when he couldn’t find the right sound for “Josephine,” his so-called morning song. He sheepishly explained to the crowd he wrote it to match his voice in the morning, when he had to play on radio shows. Whenever he plays it at night it, he says it takes him a bit to find the right tune for it. 

In the world of 13-year-old YouTube pop stars, Costa is a humble, but enormously talented musician with personality and charisma to spare. His demeanor made the concert truly fun, bringing the crowd together in clapping and swaying musical moments. He will certainly be welcomed back to campus with arms as wide as Touchdown Jesus ¾ and speaking of, maybe next time he’ll even get a chance to see the Grotto. 

Contact Courtney Eckerle at [email protected]