“Well, the 40-somethings who politely took their seats in the half-full venue bopped along obediently, but for non-devotees it was hard to distinguish between pop music and the lame sound of watered-down 1970s-inspired rock disappearing into its own bloated guitar solo. “
Uh, did she go to a different gig? It wasn’t sold out, true, but from where we were sitting, I could only see tiny patches of free seats, and the bulk of the audience seemed to be made up of late-teenage girls and twentysomethings. I can see her point about the crowd “bopping along obediently,” though. Rob Thomas did a practised job of persuading us that we were a good audience, but to the crowd did feel lukewarm and flat.
The sound was indistinct and lacking in separation. I noticed it especially with Paul Doucette’s (funky clear perspex) drums. The bass was deep and loud, resonating in my chest. His two snares were crisp and tight, but the cymbals were dull and vague. I could barely hear his ride unless the rest of the band was going through a quiet patch–and Doucette is quite an energetic hitter.
Nevertheless, I had a great time. Unlike the Scotsman, I like Matchbox Twenty, and they played a set to satisfy any fan. Most of the material was from their latest album, More Than You Think You Are (they played all but one of the songs from the album), but they also played a selection of earlier material, and even a very pretty cover version of Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time. They mixed up the pace a lot; there wasn’t any section that was consistently up-tempo or downbeat. Because they never built the show up to a proper climax, this may have contributed to the lack of fizz in the audience. But that’s the nature of the band. They’re equally comfortable with energetic rock as they are with slow, moody and melancholy tunes.
And besides, I just get a kick out of watching live music at all.
- Real World
- All I need
- Could I Be You
- 3 A.M.
- Hand Me Down
- If You’re Gone
- Bright Lights
- Back 2 Good
- You’re So Real
- encore: Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper)
- The Difference, part 2
- Long Day