The street performer Matthew Belliveau – who goes by the moniker “Matty X Fugitive From Reality” – has been serenading grocery shoppers outside the mid-island Stop & Shop with electric guitar solos in recent weeks. He’s talented, and he plays loud.
“I get such a positive response from doing this and I make a living doing it,” he said Sunday evening. “I’m always having fun.” As we chatted, some fans approached and said they could here him playing all the way from the water tower in Monomoy. The self-taught guitarist originally from the Fitchburg, Mass. area has been performing solo in the streets all over the country – most recently in Las Vegas, Boston, and New York City. He’s been on the island in recent weeks to help his brother on a construction job, but street performing is his full-time gig.
“I stopped swinging a hammer seven years ago,” he said.
One issue he’s run into on Nantucket, however, is his lack of a formal permit from the town, which has a rather long list of rules and regulations for street performers. “They gave me a $100 ticket in front of the library,” he said. “I was in front of the library because they keep kicking me out of Main Street.” Matty X filmed and posted on his YouTube channel a recent interaction with a Nantucket police officer that was generally amicable, along with other videos of him signing autographs for young fans on Easy Street. He claimed he tried to get a permit from the town, but a marijuana conviction on his record prevented it from happening.
The response to his unsanctioned performances on Nantucket has been “90 percent” positive, he said. “People listen and say ‘good, someone’s trying to bring it back to normal’.”