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matchbox twenty
A Concert Review

May 30, 2000

The Vic

Chicago, IL

A Review and Photos by
The Dude on the Right
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.

  • 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!!


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