I was slightly late to this show, because I guess having one opening act and starting on time doesn't mean they're gonna keep everyone waiting. I came in on a song I didn't recognize (I haven't given their last two albums much of a listen), but I was able to catch "Disease." This immediately brought me back to the time I played the song for my then 6-year-old brother, telling him this is what real rock 'n' roll is. How embarrassing.
Anyway, the stage was fucking amazing. There were these cube things with video screens and LED lights stringing the stage and abstract doodlings were flung all over the walls. It felt like I was watching a concert DVD, and I'm sure the footage could've been used for one. This was definitely an ode to high production values, and as much as I love lo-fi, static drenched DIY, at least this wasn't Maroon 5. The music and lyrics, while hard to swallow sometimes, are definitely more authentic than the majority of mainstream pop, and I think that's enough to give Matchbox Twenty a pass.
The show wasn't without its share of cheesiness. For example, a giant clock radio appeared on the screen, stuck at 2:57 a.m. I'm sure you can guess which song it counted down to. The pin-up girls during "She's So Mean" and the vague political notions of "How Far We've Come" didn't lend much credibility, but I'll forgive that, because that guitar ripped at me on songs like "All I Need" and "If You're Gone."
It was a healthy balance of new songs and old, and I have to say, I haven't outgrown this band. While much of their discography weighs in on sappy, dysfunctional relationships, their more mature, recent cuts like "Our Song" and "Overjoyed" are just damn good love songs. And you know, I agree with Paul McCartney on that one -- what's wrong with that?