Matchbox 20 – Almost Studio Perfect

Mattress Firm Amphitheatre is a 20,500 seat Amphitheatre located in Chula Vista, California.  It is one of the larger concert venues in the San Diego area.  I had “media access” tickets so I could review the show; however, I purchased Two tickets in the 4th row up front because I knew this was going to be a great show and wanted to be up front for all the music and action on stage.  Opening the show was “River of Rust” and “Counting Crows” both bands warmed up the audience and I won’t get into the opening bands here, because there will be a complete review of the “Counting Crows” in an upcoming Backstage360 Issue.  But the “Counting Crows” were Amazing!

The seats were filled as far as I could see and when the lights went out and the opening notes of “Real World” started, the crowd went crazy.  You could sense the joy in the air this band brings to its fans.  Rob Thomas’s (Lead Vocalist) experience showed, he controlled the crowd and every eye in the place was on him when he sang.  He covered the entire stage and spent equal time acknowledging all sections of the crowd.  You felt like he was singing directly to you at times and that says a lot about his control of the environment and his stage presence.  The entire band deserves credit for a brilliant show.  Matchbox 20 delivered their hits to the fans with such a high caliber of quality that they were almost studio perfect.   The songs were basically spot on from the recording that we as fans are used to hearing.

Next was “Girl like that”, “She’s so mean” and “Bent”; during “Bent” there was a moment when he was spinning the microphone stand like a helicopter blade in front of him, full on rock star move.  It was very entertaining the group I was with had a blast. Their lighting and other visual aspects were outstanding.  The Lighting added to the mood and jumped the experience to a solid 11 out of 10. The night continued with “Argue”, “I’ll Believe you When”, “If you’re Gone” and “How far we’ve Come” which all pumped up the already excited audience.  Then the distorted and overly flange effected notes of “Disease” start and the crowd sang and danced like tomorrow didn’t matter.  They were here with Matchbox 20 to party.

All your Reasons” leading into the song “Mad Season” was a little different.  The mood moved from a heavier to a bluesier tone.  It was a very nice transition and drew the crowd into the songs.  As the songs progressed the crowd were more relaxed and singing along especially with songs like “Hang”, “Back 2 good”, “Push” and “3am”  which all came from Matchbox 20’s debut album from 1996 “Yourself or Someone Like You”. The Band also threw into the mix a very well-known “Unwell” from 2002’s album “More than you think you Are”.  The Audience was having a great time singing along and screaming with joy.  I believe that Matchbox 20 after this tour will notice a resurgence of album sales.  Seeing those songs live makes you appreciate the band and especially the talents of Rob Thomas so much more than you remember.  I also believe that friends of the people who attended will tell their friends and will drag them to the next show.  Everyone left the concert feeling like they had reconnected with some of their better-remembered times. The lyrics to the songs prove that those times were not actually better, but you can’t change the fact that we smiled while we were singing along with them.

If you hear Matchbox 20 is coming near your town.  Tell all your friends, family and co-workers to not hesitate; buy a ticket to one of the best concerts they will ever see.  I’m already looking for other Matchbox 20 shows.

Matchbox 20 Setlist:

  1. Real World
  2. Girl Like That
  3. She’s So Mean
  4. Bent
  5. Argue
  6. I’ll believe You When
  7. If You’re Gone
  8. Hand me Down
  9. How Far We’ve Come
  10. Disease
  11. All Your Reasons
  12. Mad Season
  13. So Sad so Lonely
  14. Englishtown
  15. Hang
  16. Unwell
  17. Back 2 Good
  18. Push
  19. 3am
  20. Long Day
  21. Bright Lights

Matchbox 20 – Mattress Firm Amphitheatre




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