Just to give you a little background, there were five of us who went to the concert: Laura (Zindo), our friends Kerri, Sarah, and Marie, and me. We got there as soon as we possibly could, driving this huge-ass Suburban and accompanied by Lauraís dad (who, by the way, totally fricking rocks!!!). He was so sweet that he came with us and then drove us all back because we were all too tired to drive. Very, very sweet man. ANYWAY! ON WITH THE SHOW!!!
We arrived at the venue (the Mullins Center at UMASS Amhurst) at about four or four thirty. We parked the car and walked down this big flight of stairs to get to what we THOUGHT was the back of the general admissions line. We found our good buddy Alix the Great, whom we had planned to meet, and we jumped in line with her. Some people got a little pissed so we passed out the bootlegs that we had brought with us for just such an occasion. So we had fun talking to people and trying to get their passes. My friend used her little body paints to write "Matchbox Twenty" across the very top of my chest so everyone would know just how much I adore them. (lol) Then all of a sudden one of the event staff came out with these cute little hot pink wristbands for everyone in general admissions. There were only about thirty or forty people there at that point. Then we realized that we were in the FRONT of the line, not the back! So Laura felt really bad that we had cut all those people. But I didnít. Sorry, but I love my boys so much what can I say?
So we got our pretty wristbands and the little anal event staff dude wouldnít give us an extra one so we could scan in a picture of a wristband in perfect condition for all you fine folks out there. But mineís in almost mint condition, so it will have to do. And we waited in line until about quarter to seven. While we were waiting, Rob, Marisol, Kyle, and Adam walked past the doors that were right in front of us. We all freaked out and they waved and were really sweet. Wonderful experience.
So then at quarter to seven the guy said that he would let us in about 50 people at a time. So they opened the gates and we took off! We were supposed to stop and get our bags checked and stuff, but we didnít have any so we just ran right by. Laura was in front and I was right behind her. We ran the length of the stadium and slammed right up against the barrier. (Interesting sensation, lol) We were front center!!!!! But then security made us all back up and sit down on the floor. We had to wait for about half an hour before they gave the signal that it was ok for us to crowd the barrier. Then we jumped up and squished right back to where we had been. Laura and I could not believe it! We have always been the ones who get last row section Z tickets, and now we were front row center for our favorite band ever. It was amazing.
The Jayhawks came out after a while and they were really good. But they werenít who we were looking for. While they were playing Marisol sat over on the side of the stage, still sort of in the backstage area, and bopped along to the music. Can I just say that the woman is even more beautiful in person than in pictures. As lucky as she was to get our Robbie, heís damn lucky to have someone whoís not only beautiful but supposedly really sweet. So thatís what we watched when the Jayhawks performed. (lol) And then right as they were finishing up, Rob walked in front of Marisol and bent down to pick something up. We only saw the back of his head but it was worth a couple of squeals. (not loud ones though..lol) That was amazing enough for us; but nothing compared to what happened later on!
They started setting up for the boys at around eight. Laura had made a sign that read: "Weíre sorry about your guitar, AdamÖBut weíll love you always anyway!" and we held it up then. Robís tech saw it and pointed it out to Adamís guitar tech. He, in turn, read the sign, made a sad face, and said "It wasnít my fault." So of course we yelled back how we knew it wasnít his fault. While everybody was setting up we made friendly with the security guys, Stan and Troy. Very nice guys.
Then they came onstage. We were both freaked out beyond belief. Rob Thomas and Kyle Cook were about eight feet away from us. Rob had on black pants and a white shirt that was unbuttoned about halfway down. They all looked unbelievable!!! Kyle eventually took his shirt off and was wearing a wife beater and I think red pants. Adam was wearing khakis cargo pants and a black shirt. Pookie was wearing this absolutely kick ass red shirt with some sort of Asian symbol on it. Paulie was wearing a dark skirt and at one point a red colored bandana. Ben the piano player has kick ass white (or yellowish white) hair and this really cool shirt on that I canít remember now.
We held the sign up and Adam looked over, read the sign and gave us a really sad face. Then a member of Matchboxís security team came over to us and started to take the sign. We thought he was taking it away so we begged him not to, but he told us he would bring it right back. He brought it over right in front of Adam and Stan the security guy shined his flashlight on it. Adam read both sides and smiled!! We freaked out so much!! Then, making things even better, after they gave us our sign back Adam walked over to us and handed us a guitar pick!! I donít think I have said thank you so many times in my life! I gave it right to Laura because we had promised that if we got a guitar pick she could take it, and if we got a drumstick I could take it. He saw me give it to her and went and got another pick, then came back and gave it to me. It was so sweet because he kept looking over at us during the concert and I made the "I love you" sign with my hand, and one time when he wasnít playing he made it back to me. And he waved and nodded when I kept saying thank you and kissing my guitar pick. He was laughing at me because I was so happy.
They were so amazing I cannot even begin to describe it. We didnít bring a camera or a tape recorder because we wanted to devote all of our energy to paying attention and having fun. And we did. Iím really glad that we did, too.
They played all the old songs: "3am", "Hang", "Push" (during the encore), "Long Day", "Busted", "Argue", "Girl Like That", "Kody", and "Real World" (where Rob had everyone sing along with Kyle and Adam, who were harmonizing beautifully). And they played all the new songs: "Angry", "Crutch", "Last Beautiful Girl" (which Rob said was a song written about nothing in particular), "If Youíre Gone", "Mad Season", "Rest Stop" (Rob was on pianoÖAMAZING), "Bent" (of courseÖthatís the song they came on to), "Stop" (absolutely freaking adrenaline-pumping amazing!), "You Wonít Be Mine" (overwhelming how awesome that song is live with Rob on piano), and they ended with "Black and White People" (where Adam and Kyle got crazy with some awesome new guitar parts and Robbie got funky with his mean-ass tambourine). They also played Tom Pettyís "American Girl." Now, I had never heard the song before, yet by the end I was singing every word. Thatís how wonderful they are live. They can sing any song and make you love it.
During the whole show everyone was walking back and forth across the stage. One minute Rob would be on the right singing to the crowd and then the next he would be on the left, standing on the amp and shaking peopleís hands. Adam and Kyle switched places all the time and jammed together. Pookie shuffled across the stage an untold number of times. Paul got so into his drumming that his bandana went flying during the first song, "Bent." Rob pointed our sign out to Adam and smiled at the girl next to us who had a sign that said: "Rob, te quiero." I loved that sign. Then she turned it over and wrote: "Show us that beautiful smile," or something to that effect. Anyway, when Rob read it he smiled at them. Rob talked about how much fun they are having on this tour. He asked us if we were having fun and of course the place went wild. He said that if we werenít having fun by now that there was nothing he could really do for us. But that, of course, wasnít even an issue.
During the whole concert Laura and I were waving to all the members. The only ones who didnít respond were Pookie and Kyle. I think Pookie was a lilí shy, and Kyle was so into his guitar when he was playing. He stood directly in front of us many times and just went crazy playing as I have only seen Santana play. That man can play unbelievably. He is very, very talented. Everything that came out of his guitar was beautiful and complex and just perfect. Adam of course kicked ass, because he always does. He was doing some awesome finger-work when he played for us. Rob kinda sounded like a chipmunk when he was talking but I think they were trying to compensate for that, cuz sometimes it would go back to being normal. His voice was just awe-inspiring. Pookie was shuffling across the stage for all he was worth and you could feel the bass the whole time. It was perfect. Paul rocks because he gets so into his drumming, and he does such an awesome job. Everyone was jumping with the music and going crazy. The new keyboard player was awesome, too. We waved to him multiple times and he waved and nodded back. Very smiley and very into the music.
The best part, of course, was Adam coming over and playing for us. He did that about four different times. He actually said thank you to us once for our sign. We didnít let go of those picks for one second during the concert, but I managed to somehow burn myself with my lighter because I wasnít exactly paying attention to it. (lol..I wonder why??) We couldnít believe it, though. Adam, Kyle and Rob were all standing right in front of us at one point, singing or playing to us!! US!!! The ones who could never even get closer that section ZZ! (lol)
Oh, and I have to mention, one of their security guys was so sweet. We were dying of thirst because we had been sweating, jumping, screaming, singing, and crying for the past two hours. We begged him to give us the rest of his water and he did! We all downed it in about five seconds. But we REALLY needed that. Just thought I would include him cuz he was really sweet. We got to see him after the concert and say thank you.
They finished up with "Black and White People." (And a message to Rob to vote because if the "assholes" were going to be elected you might as well "know what they stand for"Ö "So go vote!") My mouth fell open when they were playing this because they got so into it! Not that they werenít all into it during the rest of the show, but this time they were just freaking out. Rob was playing the tambourine. Adam and Kyle were jamming together all over the stage. They were jumping all over. Paulie was going at those drums like crazy. Pookie was shuffling all around. And they had three people (canít remember their names..I hope Laura remembers) who were playing all the horns in the background. They also played the flutes and sax in the other songs.
Then they all walked off the stage. Except Paulie walked around to the front of the stage on the right and threw one of his drumsticks into the crowd. Then he walked right over to us and threw his drumstick to me! He was looking right at me when he threw it but a couple of people pushed and grabbed onto it. Poor Laura almost got knocked over. There was no doubt in my mind, however, that I was going to fulfill my dream and get that drumstick. I just grabbed on with both hands and got it. Then I yelled thank you to Paul, but I donít know if he heard me. =(
Then we left (basically hyperventilating) and got a drink (thank God!) and memorabilia!!! I bought four shirts, a baseball cap, a keychain, and a mouse pad. (lol..you never know when youíll need another mousepad!!) Then we met Lauraís dad outside. Iíll let her tell the story of what happened there. (Its hilarious!!) But basically the guys were too tired to sign autographs and the security kicked us out after a while. We did give a bag of stuff to the really sweet security guard that included Jell-O, notes with our web addy typed on them, and this little electronic teddy bear. Its kinda like one of those electronic pets, except way more annoying and I think its satanic. The only way to stop it from talking is to punch it. I really hope they got that stuff, but Iím not holding my breath.
So security kicked us out, but we hid in our car until the even staff left. So then we decided the boys were definitely gone. But we had held up our sign as each bus passed, so maybe they saw it again, who knows. One day, ladies and gentlemen. One day, mark my words. I will meet them. No, thatís not a threat. It's a promise! Lol But thatís something to look forward to at our next concert. Check out Lauraís review for even more info!! Thank you to Matchbox Twenty for the best night and concert of my life!! It will never be topped. Never. =)