Offering a taste of Matisyahu's exhilarating live show along with being an alternative to his more complex debut, Live at Stubb's presents "the Hasidic Reggae Superstar" in top form. While Shake Off the Dust...Arise had its dreamy, mystical, and more relaxed side, Stubb's is filled with rousing energy, with Matisyahu delivering his spiritual message with the punch of Elephant Man, Beenie Man, or whichever dancehall king you care to mention. The nothing-but-fun "Beat Box" represents how over the top and freewheeling the singer can be, while the between-song banter displays an approachable artist who feeds off an audience's enthusiasm. The highlights of Arise are all here, more anthemic sounding than ever, and Matisyahu's band is incredibly tight and responsive. A debut and then a live album might be a quirky release schedule, but following Arise with Stubb's is smart. His debut painted him as a thoughtful architect in the studio, while Stubb's suggests you better catch this exciting showman first chance you get.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries