There’s a Moon in the Moon |

There’s a Moon in the Moon

Wren Wertin
Special to the DailyMatthew Moon has performed with Counting Crows and Big Head Todd. Tonight his band jumps over the Moon.

Matthew Moon is playing the Half Moon Saloon tonight. The Denver-based acoustic guitarist and his band go on at 10 p.m.

He describes his music as a cross between Tom Petty and the Counting Crows.

“Well, we’re like Tom Petty because we use a few different chords and a good solid drumbeat and a catchy melody. Most of our tunes have a good hook,” said Moon. “As far as the Counting Crows comparisons go, we’ve been doing a lot of college towns. The instrumentation is the same as those bands.”

The flow of their music is most like the Crows, with suspended chords and a mellow flow. Moon writes his own music and lyrics, usually with an acoustic guitar in hand. He draws from his own life for most of his songs.

“A lot of times they come from just being lost,” he said. “It’s the only outlet I have to sort out my feelings. Mostly they’re based on relationships with another person or with myself. Also some lighthearted things – telling stories instead of being deep.”

As he points out, you can’t always be that deep guy up on stage. Beer-drinking crowds would rather be rocking out than be down on life.

“We try to play to the crowd, and make sure everyone is drinking and having fun,” he said.

Moon began his musical life as many kids did – taking piano lessons. In 1986 he was shipped off to summer camp, and had a transcendent experience listening to someone play Boston’s “More Than a Feeling” on the guitar. He knew he had to learn how to play it.

He switched from the guitar to bass during his years at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. He thought he would go on to be a session man on jazz albums, but opted to form his own band, instead. The group is 5 years old, and they’ve been on the road for the past two. They’re looking forward to a third release, “88.”

The title refers to the ’80s beats and themes that flow through it, he said. And what exactly is an ’80s theme?

“First love, shoot, just hanging out with friends and drinking beer and not having any worries, I suppose,” he explained.

Matthew Moon (vocals, guitar) Monte Thorin (drums), Jeremy Lawton (keys, vocals), Glenn Esparza (guitar, vocals) and Brad Staats (bass, vocals) will be performing at the Half Moon Saloon tonight at 10. For more information call 476-4314.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.

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