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Music in the Zoo – Mat Kearney with Matt Hires

As the summer winds down more quickly than any of us want, I was able to squeeze in one more Music in the Zoo show for the season. The Minnesota Zoo concert series, in its 27th season at the Weesner Family Amphitheater, hosts a wide variety of artists throughout the summer. 

Mat Kearney - Photo credit: Chris Schorn, Christine Photograph
Mat Kearney – Photo credit: Chris Schorn, Christine Photography

From the minute I turned into the waiting line to get into the parking lot, I noticed this night was different than others. The place was packed! A sold-out show. But I’ve been to other sold-out shows here that never seemed this busy. It was one of those events where you don’t have cell service because too many people are using the network. 

Mat Kearney - Photo credit: Chris Schorn, Christine Photograph
Mat Kearney – Photo credit: Chris Schorn, Christine Photography

The crowd energy spilled into the amphitheater, as Matt Hires, who feels he plays an above-average amount of shows at zoos, took the stage. I first learned of his beautiful voice from his charitable song “Hold You Up”, where one hundred percent of the net proceeds went to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Upper Midwest

Matt Hires – Photo credit: Chris Schorn, Christine Photography

Matt Hires finished up the opening set with his probably most well-known song, “Restless Heart”

Matt Hires – Photo credit: Chris Schorn, Christine Photography

I had found some friends I knew that were there when another nearby fan joined our conversation. Turned out she was a huge Mat Kearney fan, at the show on her own, and since I had 2 tickets in way better seats than she had, I invited her over to my section! Why both enjoy the show alone? I love new friends! And this girl was fun! She knew every single word. Of every single song. 

Mat Kearney – Photo credit: Chris Schorn, Christine Photography

Mat Kearney had never played at the Minnesota Zoo, so we covered all the usual zoo talk, tigers, dad jokes and the fact that we were all sitting in the area where the bird shows take place. It was fun to hear and see him enjoying playing in the space as much as us fans enjoy attending shows here. 

Mat Kearney – Photo credit: Chris Schorn, Christine Photography

I was pleasantly surprised with the number of songs I knew, to which I must thank my Pandora stations. I love how that works out. 

Mat Kearney – Photo credit: Chris Schorn, Christine Photography

The night was a perfect temperature, but also a sign of Fall creeping in. The Minnesota Vikings were playing a preseason game this same night, and in honor of that, the band led, not one, but two SKOL chants. Go Vikes!

Photo credit: Chris Schorn, Christine Photography

During his song “Runaway”, Mat Kearney came out into the crowd, and proceeded to come right down our isle! My new friend, the giant fan, was on top of the world! To finish up his set, he invited this young girl to come up on stage with him, as he went into a sweet rendition of Bob Dylan’s song, “Forever Young”.

Mat Kearney – Photo credit: Chris Schorn, Christine Photography

Mat Kearney did not disappoint his crowd of loyal fans, stretching the night out a tiny bit longer, officially wrapping up with a rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark”, which we all were. 

Mat Kearney – Photo credit: Chris Schorn, Christine Photography

Setlist

  1. Memorized
  2. Hey Mama
  3. Young, Dumb, and in Love
  4. Count on Me
  5. Money
  6. Fire & Rain
  7. Kings & Queens
  8. Moving On
  9. Better Than I Used to Be
  10. Nothing Left to Lose
  11. Face to Face
  12. One Black Sheep
  13. Chicago
  14. City of Black & White
  15. Runaway
  16. Encore:
  17. Where We Gonna Go from Here
  18. Ships in the Night
  19. Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen cover)

Written by Chris Schorn

Twin Cities Photographer - Always smilin' and enjoyin' the journey! #ilovemusic

https://christinephotography.co/

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