Heather Lalley - Staff writer
Yes, it's a tad strange that the band formerly known as Matchbox 20 changed its name to matchbox twenty last year.
But it does make some sense to break with the past when recent years have been so extraordinary for the band, and especially for frontman Rob Thomas.
Thomas netted three Grammy Awards for "Smooth," his 1999 Latin-tinged collaboration with guitarist Carlos Santana.
And the band's sophomore release, "Mad Season by Matchbox Twenty," has gone triple-platinum, coasting into the release of its fourth single to radio.
The album is a follow-up to the band's debut, "Yourself or Someone Like You," which has sold some 10 million copies.
Matchbox twenty has gained a following for its not-too-gritty, radio-friendly rock.
Thomas says it took the band until the second album to really discover its sound.
"We made the best record we could, but we were kind of guessing about who we were collectively," he told music Web site launch.com about the first release. "After being on the road, living in a box together, sticking up for each other, fighting, laughing and playing every night ... When we made `Mad Season,' we said, `This is what we sound like.' It was five voices making one noise all at the same time."
Thomas played in bands during high school and eventually hooked up with drummer Paul Doucette, bassist Brian Yale, and guitarists Adam Gaynor and Kyle Cook.
In the early '90s, Yale, Doucette and Thomas played in a band called Tabitha's Secret.
That band recorded just one studio album, "Don't Play With Matches," that has only been available for download on the Internet.
But the record, which features an acoustic version of the matchbox twenty hit "3 A.M." among its 10 tracks, is slated to be released Oct. 9.
Opening for matchbox twenty Saturday at The Gorge is another group of radio-friendly rockers: Train.
The California-based band, known for the catchy hit "Meet Virginia," is touring in support of its latest release, "Drops of Jupiter."
Preview: matchbox twenty, with Train
When, where: Saturday, 7 p.m. at The Gorge.
Tickets:$40.50, through Ticketmaster (509-735-0500 or www.ticketmaster.com)