Joe Rockstars: Matchbox Twenty


Before setting foot in Philips Arena for Saturday's show, he's on the phone apologizing.

The band is shooting a live DVD during the Atlanta show and he's concerned that the taping may result in blocked views or long lapses between songs. (Right. We're sure the deluge of screaming fans will be soooo hurt.)

They chose to film in Atlanta because of the energy they expect from the crowd. The band recorded its first two albums here, making the city the group's second home. And fans can expect a livelier take on the group's sound.

"Our live show is basically our record on steroids, with lots of shiny lights," Doucette said.

The band's latest release, "More Than You Think You Are," has sold 1.2 million copies, according to SoundScan, a healthy number, although lower than the nearly 12 million in combined sales of their first two albums.

But not to worry.

Dylan Sprague, operations manager and program director for Q100 (WWWQ-FM), said the station is still fielding calls from listeners begging for tickets to the show or requesting the band's latest singable single, "Unwell."

The "nice guys making nice music" image works for the band, Sprague said.

"It's the vibe, it's the lyrics," he said. "They're not grungy, sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll guys. They still create a sound that kind of went out of vogue, and it's just awesome."

"We don't pretend to be something we're not," Doucette said. "None of us wanted to be celebrities. We're not a band that is recognized by our faces."

That is part of what makes them endearing to fans.

They're famous enough to keep churning out popular records but grounded enough to call Chick-fil-A a favorite Atlanta hangout.

While recording in Atlanta, the fast-food restaurant down the street from the studio became the band's staple.

"Breakfast, lunch and dinner, except on Sunday," Doucette said, laughing at his memories of the city. "Atlanta just feels like the right place."