It was a hot and humid evening at The Tweeter Center in Tinley
Park just outside of Chicago for this matchbox twenty show, and as I
was escorted through the area where all of the busses for the band
are kept, on my way to take the photo pit, it occurred to me that Iíll
bet they arenít using Vince Gillís bus anymore. I also wondered
if they still sang "Always and Forever" before each show
like they did way back when. Back when was in 1997, right when
"Push" started to hit the radio waves and matchbox twenty
(then matchbox 20) played before about 200 people at a little bar
called Schubaís in Chicago, and Adam had long hair. That was then.
Now they have a fleet of busses, now they were on a stage where the
band could actually move while they played, now they have sold
millions of albums, and now they play in front of thousands. Some
things have changed but one thing hasnít, matchbox twenty still
puts on a great show, although this time with a few less surprises.
A Concert Review
Opening with the trio of "Crutch," "Real
World," and "Girl Like That," I also couldnít help
but wonder if the band had gotten boring and would just kind of go
through the motions. That was far from the case as everyone but
Paul, stuck behind his drum kit, strolled the entire stage, slapping
hands with the fans in the crowd, letting people sing along, and
just seemed to be having fun like they always did. And what really
helps at a show like this is that itís obvious the crowd were fans
of their CDís and not just their singles. You could see people
singing along to songs like "Last Beautiful Girl" and
"Rest Stop", neither of which has had any radio play, as
well as keeping pace with the matchbox twenty standards like
"Push" and "Bent."
Keeping things fresh has usually been one of matchbox twentyís
strong points, although this time they slipped just a tad, at least
in my eyes. And why do I feel that way? One of the things I always
looked forward to at a matchbox twenty show was them doing goofy
covers, but this time goofy was not the call. Sure, they did a cover
of "Remedy" where Rob forgot a verse, and there was a
decent version of John Lennonís "Watching the Wheels"
which I question being a sing-a-long as Rob pronounced it, but those
were pretty tame compared to songs like "Mercy, Mercy
"Eye of the Tiger", and "Mama, Don't Let Your
Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys" which Iíve heard them do
before. Maybe itís just me.
In any case, Rob, Adam, Kyle, Brian, and Paul (at least Iím
pretty sure it was Paul Ė he was almost in a disguise with a
baseball cap and sunglasses on) still know how to put on a great
show and the addition of horns and keyboards continues to add a
little more spice to their show. Rob got to do some piano playing,
made fun of The Tweeter Center being called The "Tweeter"
Center, and dedicated "If Youíre Gone" to those people
who had already left when the band came out for their encore.
And even though I was disappointed in their not doing goofy
covers I still had a blast, but always more importantly the crowd
had a blast and they didnít seem to miss covers like I did. Itís
TWO "I Miss The Goofy Covers" THUMBS UP!!
In addition to matchbox twenty I also got to see another of my
favorite bands in the likes of Train, even if it was only for three
songs, but at least I got to listen to the rest of their set. Train
was opening for the matchbox twenty boys, and as such their set was
a little short, eight songs short in fact, and I still sometimes
question their set list. They opened with "Something More"
off of their latest CD, and kicked right into "Meet
Virginia" so the crowd could get right into the show.
And continuing with "Sheís on Fire" seemed like a
good call as well as their always-fabulous cover of Zeppelinís
"Ramble On." But I still question using the mellow
"Getaway" in a set list which, although a good song, seems
like it can easily take a crowd unfamiliar with all of your music
right out of the show (I canít be sure if that happened as I was
within earshot but not eyeshot at this point of the show), but thatís
my take on the song. It wouldnít take long for the crowd to get
what they really wanted, though, as a couple of songs later
"Drops of Jupiter" filled the air and the crowd sang along
at full will.
Trainís set was short and I only got to see them for three
songs, such is the life of a photographer/reviewer sometimes, but it
was good seeing them on a big olí stage where they could spread
their wings a little more. Still putting on a good show, even for
only eight songs, and itís TWO "Good to See Them Again"
Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!