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matchbox 20
A Concert Review

March 8, 1998

The Aragon Ballroom

Chicago, IL

A Review and Photos by
The Dude on the Right
Rob Thomas
Rob Thomas
I'll say it again, and probably will for every review I write for matchbox 20, but I knew them when... I knew them when they were an opening band with people in the crowd wondering just who they were; I knew them when they were the headliner at a little bar called Schuba's; I knew them when I loved their music before it was on the radio; I knew them when Adam Gaynor had long hair; and I knew them when Paul Doucette explained that his first car was a 1980 Datsun B210, gray, and he loved it, "more than life itself." For this review, I know the show they put on at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, and I'm happy to have known them when, but happy to see them, knowing them now.

Every time I get to see matchbox 20, they get just a little more popular. What the hell am I talking about, "A little more popular?"
Kyle Cook
Kyle Cook
Their rise to a major headliner on the music and concert scene has been pretty much incredible, seeing that all I ever seem to read about them is how their music is, well, not the hippist thing on a cool critic's playlist. Hip or not, it has captured fans across the board, and the show at the Aragon is no exception. You had young girlies - decked out with sprarklies on their faces; You had older girlies - decked out with, well, let's just say the young girlies haven't developed them yet; You had dudes, in a variety of age groups - either there because they liked the band, or maybe because their girlfriend wanted to go and they were worried about losing their chick to a dude who liked the band; You had parents, who brought their kids, but still knew some of the songs. And you had matchbox 20, putting on the best show I have seen yet.

It appears to me that the dudes of matchbox 20 are finally coming into their own. Why do I say that? Well, the previous times I've seen them there still seemed to be some hesitation from them, especially lead singer, Rob Thomas, about trying to get in touch with the crowd. This time, though, everyone came through - Rob was talking to the crowd, singing for the crowd, playing for the crowd, and connecting on every cylinder with every fan who was there. Then there were the rest of the boys, Adam Gaynor on rhythm guitar and Kyle Cook on lead guitar - posing with the best of them, smiling at the girls in the front, and playing their hearts out. Of course Brian Yale, the bass dude, seemed to
Adam Gaynor
Adam Gaynor
be all over the stage, bouncing from Adam to Kyle, back, and forth, and just having fun. And, again, poor Paul Doucette, stuck behind his drum set, but still pounding and smiling. It was good, really good, to see everyone up there having so much fun, and it really extended out into the audience for every song.

And speaking of songs, I really, really, really, really (did I say "really" enough yet?) wish the boys would hit the recording studio. Don't get me wrong, I still love every song from "Yourself or Someone Like You," and from the response of the crowd, they do too, but for me, I'm really looking for new stuff, like the way cool new stuff they play during their show. Still high energy, still kick-ass vocals, but dammit, I don't know the words, and that really sucks when I'm trying to sing along. But, they did do a couple of new songs, well, not really knew, a couple of covers, that I did know the words, and, well, the cover of "Mercy, Mercy Me" from, hmm, I believe Marvin Gaye, was a huge surprise, and the "Time After Time" cover, where Rob was doing the solo-acoustic thing, was very
Rob again.
Rob again.
cool, especially when Gordon Vaughn, the lead singer from Cool for August, came out to help a little with the vocals.

It's really cool to see the dudes of matchbox 20 continuing to grow and impress me as a band. It seems like yesterday I was at Schuba's, seeing them with a hundred-ish people, where their biggest concerns seemed to be if anyone was going to show up and how they could keep their bus. That doesn't seem to be a problem now. The problem now is more that they're playing a venue too small for everyone to come and see them. Most bands only dream they had such problems.

In any case, the show was awesome, and they did mix in a few new things to make it different from all the rest of them that I have seen - what more needs to be said? TWO HUGEMOUNGOUS THUMBS UP for matchbox 20. Keep up the good work - and come back soon - Chicago loves you.

That's it for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!


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