Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
This is how Rob Thomas described the show they were putting on, and
he was pretty much right on.
A Concert Review
- Something old: "Push," "3 am," "Real
World," "Long Day" and many more of the songs
from their first CD, "Yourself or Someone Like You."
- Something new: "Bent," Black & White
People," "Crutch," and many more of the songs off
of their latest CD, "Mad Season by matchbox twenty."
- Something borrowed: Again, as Rob put it, "a night of
spontaneous bad covers" which included the likes of
"Mama, Donít Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys,"
"Eye of the Tiger," and "Stayiní Alive."
- Something blue: Rob likened "Back 2 Good" as to
something blue. I guess Iíll have to agree because there wasnít
anything about this show that I would consider blue.
Alright, enough with the "trying to be creative"
opening, letís just start from the beginning.
As the concert calendar was shaping up I had two options Ė Joni
Mitchell in the suburbs with easy parking, comfortable chairs, a
shorter drive home, and a lot of songs I probably might remember but
wouldnít necessarily love to hear. Or matchbox twenty in the
Wrigleyville area where a Cubís night game would limit parking, I
would probably have to stand during the show, the drive home could
potentially be a pain, a lot of songs I knew by heart, and a lot of
songs I didnít. So, should I try to see Joni Mitchell, an artist I
respect but donít necessarily love, or matchbox twenty who Iíve
been looking forward to seeing again for the past two years? Other
critics would probably opt for Joni, but not me, matchbox twenty has
always been one of my favoritist bands, and after their show at The
Vic, they still are.
Luckily the parking garage down the street from The Vic wasnít
full, so I parked the dude-mobile, hoofed it a few blocks to the
venue, a little late but still able to catch the end of the opening
act, and patiently took my spot in the photo pit for matchbox
twenty. The crowd was the standard mix of teenage girls and older
dudettes, but sadly matchbox twenty has started attracting more
males than when I had seen them years ago. Good for the band in
terms of number of people liking them; bad for my chances of finding
a dudette. Anyway, the lights go down, Rob, Adam, Kyle, Paul, and
Brian take the stage, and here comes an hour and a half set that
yes, spotlighted old, new, borrowed, and sort of blue.
Opening with "Bent," Rob Thomas and the boys have
become much more confident than when I saw them way back when at a
little bar called Schubaís, and the crowd responded appropriately.
Girls were screaming, guys were singing along, and even the new
songs on their sophomore effort didnít have the crowd lose their
interest. Why? Probably because the band did a great job at mixing
the old with the new. A couple of new songs here, a couple of old
songs there, but never a string of new songs that would have the
crowd start to fade listening to things they werenít familiar
with. Rob did great belting out everything, even putting himself on
keyboards for "Leave," and throwing in a little story here
and there, Kyle nailed guitar solo after solo, and Adam worked the
entire stage, teasing the girls in the front and just looking like
he was having a ball. New songs like "Rest Stop,"
"Black & White People," "Bent," and
"Mad Season" helped show that the band is coming into
their own while the older songs like "Girl Like That,"
"3 am," "Push," and "Long Day" still
sounded fresh, had the entire crowd singing along (except for maybe
a couple of grumpy reviewers whose reviews of the show I couldnít
believe when I read them Ė were they at the same show I was? Oh
well, I digressÖ), and the band's tossing in of some attempts at
covers where fun to hear.
If you canít figure it out I loved the show. It was great to
see matchbox twenty back in the game, the new songs hopefully will
have the legs to get the band through the sophomore effort (if the
reviews are any indication, "Mad Season by matchbox
twenty" has the potential to be another big hit with the normal
folks because most of the reviewers keep downplaying it, much the
same way they downplayed "Yourself or Someone Like You",
and you know how that ended up!), and as much as I know the next
time I see them will probably be in a larger venue than The Vic, I
canít help but long for the days when I could see them at a club
that could barely hold 200 people.
The boys are back, better than ever, and ignore most of the
reviews if they are less than kind. The new music is good, the old
music is good, and the band is much more stage confident than in the
early days. They keep putting on a kick-ass show, and thatís what
I always look for. Itís Two "Welcome Back!" Thumbs Up!
for matchbox twenty.
Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!