Matchbox 20 Rock N' Roll Extravaganza

by Lamonte Cranston - Feb. 9, 1998

I have to admit that it had been awhile since I had witnessed a full-on Rock n Roll extravaganza like the one Match Box 20 put on at the Bob Carr last night. Unfortunately, it had been so long that I had forgotten some of the wonderful nuances of the Rock concert - the rock n' roll theatrics, the screaming fans, the halter top-wearing teen-age girls hanging out by the back door waiting to score with a member of the band (my personal favorite). I actually considered selling my back stage pass to one of them but decided against it; instead I gave one of the poor girls a coat.

The show began early with Cool For August, who put on a spirited set. Although I can't say I like the band's music, I commend them for really giving it everything they had - "A" for effort guys!

When the audience was sufficiently "warmed," MB20 began the festivities in true Rock n' Roll style. Before the curtain went up, a video screen came down randomly displaying a myriad of pictures; cows, trucks, barns, I think I saw my mom in there somewhere.... Anyway, when MB 20 finally appeared, they stunned the audience with an audio visual assault that was as professional as any I have seen. Even someone who didn't like the songs could appreciate the musical prowess of the band, especially guitarist Kyle Cook, who proved to be an accomplished singer and soloist. I have always said that the difference between a local and a national band (besides equipment) is lights, and MB20 had 'em. Even a deaf person could enjoy the show by lights alone.

The band of course performed all the singles from the album (accompanied by most of the girls in the audience), as well as some tracks that didn't make the cut. I was thoroughly impressed by their cover of Marvin Gaye's "Mercy, Mercy Me", which initially caught me off guard. It's not exactly the type of tune you would expect a band like MB20 to do, but then again, that's what "covers" are all about. They pulled it off flawlessly, right down to the guitar sounds.

Although the band as a whole was great, the high point of the night was Rob's solo-acoustic rendition of "Hang" - to me, one of his best. Honestly, I didn't think Tabitha's...I mean MB20 had that kind of show in them, but I was so wrong, the boys were nothing short of awesome. MB20, the band everybody in Orlando seems to know personally, came to silence the nay-sayers and to show what a triple platinum selling band really sounds like.