Matchbox Twenty loves a crowd

By Tamara Shope, Albuquerque Tribune (New Mexico)

Well, that's what the Matchbox Twenty lead singer had me believing, anyway.

From the moment the band took the stage Monday night to the moment it left, Thomas convinced me he had eyes only for me.

The band's set began with "Cold" from its latest album, followed with a sleek, deep uttering of "How you doin' tonight, baby?" (The thousands of other people at the Journal Pavilion who were obviously won over by his sweet words to, uh, me cheered as I sighed.)

Truthfully, I know I'm not Thomas' girlfriend. I'm not even his sister, his mail carrier, or his biggest fan. But he convinced us all of two things: First, he really, truly loves (your name here); and second, a good live rock show doesn 't need pyrotechnics or dancers just accessible music and a measure of reserved charm ("How you feelin' now, baby?").

Matchbox Twenty isn't exactly known for its live performances, which are so polished, a music video might just provide more entertainment. But Thomas, who generously spread his sweet nothings ("I love you. Te quiero."), connects on some wonderfully strange Jim Morrison-esque level.

The 18-song regular set included every song but one from the "More Than You Think You Are" album (with "The Difference" being left out) and nearly every radio release (including "3 a.m." and "Back 2 Good"). "Push," as always, closed the show.

And while every song sounds almost identical to its album counterpart, the Thomas vibe alone nearly justifies the ticket price.


Charm in lieu of charisma probably didn't woo the (few) men in the crowd, who for the most part seemed to be there for their gals. But the women and there were many came for the vibe, which offers a breather from the sappy, soapy emo-rockers infiltrating the radio waves.

And for them, that's enough.

But for the concertgoer hoping to be awed (not ahhhed), it more than likely misses the mark.