Preview: Matthew Sweet’s Bringing His Power-Pop Excellence to Metro

At one time Matthew Sweet was the face of early '90s power-pop. And even if you didn't know what "power-pop" was, his music had a universal yearning paired with hooks that never seemed to run out of steam, meaning songs like "Girlfriend" and "Evangeline" became part of the social fabric across various age groups and interests. In my opinion, there are few musicians as immediately accessible as Sweet. (Come to think of it, he might still be the face of power-pop to most folks?)

Over the decades since he initially broke through, Sweet never stopped releasing new music, or entering into ongoing collaborations, including a successful series of covers albums Sweet created with Susanna Hoffs. And when it comes to support musicians, Sweet has always seems to have access to the best talents, presumably because Sweet's rep as a songwriter remains stellar.

Sweet's last album of new material Catspaw was released in 2021, but more recently he launched a recording from the vaults into the world, sharing his 1993 concert in Chicago's Grant Park. It's a concert recording that captures his band at the time they were truly at the heights of their powers—I mean holy heck, he had Television's Richard Lloyd in the band at the time!—and I confirm it's an accurate representation … because I was at that show.

I've seen Sweet a number of other times over the years since, and due to his deep, deep catalog his shows have always felt like vibrant celebrations of great music, eschewing sentimental looks backward. Why get sentimental about sounds that never went out of style, y'know?

Matthew Sweet is back in town Friday, April 5, playing at The Metro, and tickets are still available. So if you want an evening of guaranteed good times, set aside some time for that show.

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Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

Tankboy resides in the body of Jim Kopeny and lives in Mayfair with Pickle the Kitten and a beagle named Betty (RIP) who may actually be slightly more famous than most of the musicians slogging through the local scene. He's written about music for much longer than most bands you hear on the radio have even existed.