REVIEW: Pat Metheny

This past Wednesday night, UMS brought in jazz guitar legend Pat Metheny to play on the Hill Auditorium stage.  He delivered a performance that was incredibly interesting and complex to listen to.  The night started with a solo piece by Mr. Metheny on what was probably the strangest guitar I have ever seen.  It looked like a regular guitar for the most part with a half of a short extra guitar stacked above the regular one.  In addition, there seemed to be other sets of strings on the body of the instrument and there might have been a kalimba or something hanging off the end.  It was hard to see everything because the strings were clear, but the sounds he made on whatever this hybrid instrument is called were absolutely wild.  He went on to improvise for about 7-10 minutes and it was all really interesting material.  He made it clear from the start why he is considered such a huge name in the jazz world, especially regarding jazz guitar.  After the opening improvisation, the rest of his band came out featuring a pianist, a string bass player, and a drummer.  From what I could tell all of the band members sounded fantastic.  They had multiple solo opportunities and were clearly more than qualified to play with a talent on the level of Pat Metheny.  I paid close attention to the drummer in particular.  His groove was really solid and he was jamming a lot, but the chops he showed off were pretty insane.  Throughout the performance, they deviated from the full band set up with some smaller arrangements of the ensemble.  Pat played on at least 6 guitars throughout the night.  I tried to keep track, but it proved to be too tall a task with a stagehand coming out every few songs to switch them out.  They all had a distinct character and suited the vibe of the music perfectly.  At one point in the performance, he took a minute to address the audience and explain that he really enjoyed his current tour because it wasn’t to promote an album or anything like most tours are.  He’s just touring to have some fun and play some old tunes that his most die hard fans love to hear.  He then reverted to telling a kind of awkward story about how he loves this area because he loves Detroit.  Artists often try to establish a connection with a local crowd with a personal story about the area they’re playing in, but I just didn’t feel like his was necessary.  Overall, the concert was well worth attending and the music was great.  However, I think it was too long.  The projected time of the concert in the email UMS sent around to ticket purchasers about the concert was 2 hours and 40 minutes with no intermission.  Everyone in attendance that night definitely loved the music of Pat Metheny, but, in my opinion, 2 hours and 40 minutes of sitting and listening to music is way too long without a break.


ajayw is a freshman in SMTD and Economics. It is his first year reviewing for art[seen]. As a music student, ajayw takes great interest in reviewing the music events on campus, especially those brought in by UMS.

One thought to “REVIEW: Pat Metheny”

  1. I saw Path Methany at the Detroit Jazz festival years ago. It was only a 45 minute show, and I was wishing it was longer. Maybe not 2 hours and 40 minutes though.

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