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Photo by: Jack Stenzel

It just had to be magical night at The Wiltern after Matt Maltese proudly confessed “this is the biggest concert of my life” to a sold out crowd. The Los Angeles stop end the final destination of the American leg of his tour, “Touring just to Tour”. The 26 year old Englishman was clearly moved and duly performed a steady mix of his biggest songs and recent releases with a few guest features to round out a glories set list fit for the grand occasion.

Photo by: Jack Stenzel

A palpable buzz fell over the crowd at the conclusion of opener The Army and The Navy’s set, as eager attendees packed in to hear Matt Maltese perform his tear jerking and swoon worthy chamber pop bops. Before he plunged into older fan favorites, he performed some selections from his album of covers aptly named Songs that Aren’t Mine, which he joked proved he didn’t write all his own music. One such piece was Maltese’s version of“Kiss Me”, originally recorded by American pop rock band Sixpence None the Richer in 1998, and performed on Saturday night with the help of openers The Army and The Navy. Another notable guest was Door Ajar, who Maltese welcomed onto the stage during the middle of his set to perform their song “Cosmic Dancer”. The latter seemed thrilled to be able to play the song for what he said was the first and probably last time.

Photo by: Jack Stenzel

Maltese was faithfully backed for the duration of the setlist by a band that included drummer Madden Klass and bassist Jamien Pepper. Although it was their last stop, the band sounded much more like a well oiled machine than a burnt out crew. Each stage member played incredibly tight and showcased a lot of personality, including some quirky dance moves from Pepper. This was impressive feat in itself considering Maltese mostly rocked the piano, while cruising over to an electric piano and mellotron for some songs.

Photo by: Jack Stenzel

Songs that Aren’t Mine, released less than a month ago, follows Driving Just to Drive in 2023, his last original studio album release. His hit song “As the World Caves In” had the whole crowd singing. He then exited the stage, only to return amongst encore chants to play two more songs including a sentimental solo performance of the piano ballad “When You Wash Your Hair”. Maltese and his band bowed for a final farewell to the crowd, which was united in standing ovation, and this leg of his tour. As for The Wiltern, Saturday night gave the storied hall another classic performance from an unassuming Englishman in what will prove to be a night to remember for all in attendance.



Words // Jack Stenzel + Will Bollini

Photos // Jack Stenzel

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