Tuesday night concert sold out

Musician plays instruments made from recycled trash

JANELLE PATTERSON The Marietta Times Matt Lorenz of “The Suitcase Junket” opens his intimate concert at The Stage Door in Marietta by singing into the body of his guitar Tuesday.

He was sitting on an old suitcase with fuzzy fabric providing cushion as he opened the night singing into the body of a junk guitar.

“I like people to come and be open; the night tends to go the way it should that way,” said Matt Lorenz before the music. “I like to meet people where they are and then bring them in.”

Lorenz is the voice and instrumentalist behind the one-man band “The Suitcase Junket” sharing original music built off of instruments not found on an assembly line or regular music store.

“Found objects and things people have cast off but still of sound material–that’s where I draw from,” explained the 37-year-old musician who traveled into Marietta to perform at The Stage Door Tuesday.

The Stage Door is home to Peoples Bank Theatre’s box office, but also hosts small experimental gigs like that of Lorenz and other gatherings throughout weeknights in a more intimate setting.

An intimacy which drew a crowd that ranged from teenagers to those well into their golden years Tuesday.

Everybody had a head bobbing, toes tapping and the crowd started to sing along by Lorenz’s third song, “Everything I Like,” as he strummed along on a rehabbed guitar, with a cooking pot and gas can making up the Frankenstein drumkit’s snare by his left foot and saw blade serving as a boxing ball.

“I’ll definitely be picking up his vinyl for sure,” said Jordana Bungard, 39, of Marietta, as she swayed along to a slower bluegrass melody in the back of the tiny venue. “I think even my brother showed up here and I didn’t know he was coming, that’s so cool.”

Marketing Director Drew Tanner explained before the show that the venue serves as a great trial grounds for new kinds of acts, and feeling out what the area will come to on the Peoples Bank Theatre main stage.

“There’s a little more creative freedom here to do something more experimental,” he said. “And it’s another place to be middle of the week.”

And for Lorenz it’s just as important of a stop along his tour, small stage to huge 2,000-person festival.

“A lot of my songs are about loss and love and human relationships and are giving life to inanimate objects in a way that feels good to give them a little extra time on any stage whether it’s the 100-people venue–bigger or smaller– I like the variety of it,” he described. “When you’re listening I don’t think people always notice that it’s not your traditional instrument because it’s still the sonic palate and for now I’m fitting those into the rock and roll and blues and bluegrass people are used to hearing just with a slightly different feel.”

Tuesday night he was surrounded by maybe 50 people, as he rattled bones with spoons and introduced “the band” with comedy between songs and a range in sounds reminiscent of the influences of more than one genre of music.

“I’m definitely a hill person. I grew up in Vermont in the woods and hills,” he explained. “I go to the forest most for inspiration but also draw from that the sounds and experiences of the creatives around me, too.”

He’s next off to Iowa and Nebraska on tour, while The Stage Door will next host its monthly “Drink and Think,” on June 25 and a listening room concert with Craig Heath, Eric Gnezda and John Walsh on June 27.