A radiant performance from matchbox twenty

By JAMIE GUMBRECHT, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ask, and Atlanta audiences will deliver.

Matchbox twenty sought energetic fans and a large venue to appear in its live DVD, and wisely chose the Saturday night crowd at Philips Arena.

Sometimes looking like a massive game of "Simon Says," audience members raised their hands when lead singer Rob Thomas commanded so. They sat while he beat at the piano keys and obediently roared when spoken to.

Of course, the crowd didn't have enough room to gyrate their hips and stomp their feet like the band members.

Matchbox gave an utterly radiant performance, despite dark lulls while cameras readjusted for filming.

Band members relaxed during old favorites such as "3 a.m." and "Mad Season," like stepping into an old pair of dancing shoes and realizing they'll still carry you across the floor.

But during songs from their latest release, "More Than You Think You Are," matchbox showed it is the passionate rock band it claims to be, instead of just nice guys with a knack for catchy tunes.

And even in a massive venue, Thomas and guitarist Kyle Cook were personable enough to make it feel intimate. They admitted rock star envy after covering U2's "Where the Streets Have No Names," expaining,"We just started to play that song because we wanted to see what it would feel like to be in an arena and play U2."

And like the ecstatic audience matchbox twenty was seeking to ham it up for the cameras, the obliging crowd sang along to every song.