06 February 2010

Rob Thomas concert review

Rob Thomas
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Friday 5 February 2010

Last night I went to the Rob Thomas concert that I won tickets for. Thanks Nova 100!

I was really excited about seeing Rob Thomas play solo. I've been to four Matchbox Twenty concerts before, and LOVED them so much. I'd also watched Something to Be tour live on DVD and enjoyed it. Matchbox Twenty is one of my favourite bands, and their album Yourself or Someone Like You is a high played, high loved album for me.

But I found out last night, a Rob Thomas concert is much different to a Matchbox Twenty concert.

It's not that I didn't enjoy it.

And it's not that it wasn't great.

I just expected to hear some familiar Matchbox Twenty songs. Honestly, the only Rob Thomas songs I know are the ones played on radio. I like the singles he has released, but don't identify with and adore them as I do Matchbox Twenty songs. At last night's concert he ONLY played his solo stuff. Fair enough because he has had so many singles from his two albums, plus Smooth. But of all the songs played up to the last two songs, Smooth was my favourite. The songs just didn't gel with me. I expected to hear more. I wanted to sing along with his songs.

If You're Gone
Bright Lights
Rest Stop
How Far We've Come

(And Darren Hayes performs Savage Garden songs in his solo shows - I just thought Rob Thomas may, too.)

Rob is a great performer - heartfelt, charismatic, sexy, brilliant singer and beautiful songwriter. I love the way he punches his chest. The way he leans over the piano when he plays it. The combined aggression and passion in his eyes when he sings. He is great. But I didn't buzz as much as I have at a Matchbox Twenty concert.

I admit though, hearing some of the lyrics to the songs that I'm not as familiar with was great - it does amaze me that he consistently writes heartfelt, beautiful lyrics. I think the song lyrics that touched me the most was Ever The Same.

A friend told me yesterday that INXS would play with Rob. I was really looking forward to this. And the collision of the two acts was amazing (aside from seeing/hearing some fracas behind us because a drunk guy in the corporate box broke a glass on the head of a guy sitting in front of him).

If INXS needs a new frontman, Rob Thomas is it. Yes, I am a supporter of leaving INXS be with Michael Hutchence, and no further songs coming from them under the name INXS. Michael was fantastic, irreplaceable and god-like. But Rob Thomas brought a real flair to INXS, and could easily slot in as a believable, quality frontman, 'covering' the songs made famous by Michael.

They played Never Tear Us Apart and Don't Change.

It was a privilege to see INXS play live, even if not in their original form. Those two songs of the concert was my highlight.

I could have easily watched a whole INXS gig fronted by Rob Thomas, singing INXS songs.

We sat very far from the stage (second row from the back) and my photos aren't that great compared to others I've taken. But they are better than I thought they'd turn out.


  1. Rob Thomas has said that he does not perform Matchbox 20 songs as they were recorded (really his songs since he wrote 90% of them) out of respect for the band. Matchbox is still together and he feels like he should save those songs for when he is out on tour with them. He does occasionally perform one or two of them acoustically during his solo shows, as he did Smooth. Now he's got two solo albums to mine songs from for his shows - more than plenty of material to fill an incredible, generous 2 hour concert. You knew you were seeing Rob Thomas on his solo tour, I don't know why you wouldn't expect him to play that material. Yeah, Thomas was excellent fronting for Inxs and they'd probably be thrilled to have him full-time, but the guy has a strong solo career and another band with millions of records sold. Something tells me he's already a little busy.

  2. Rob Thomas said he was leaving out the normal encore of Match 20 songs so he could play with INXS, his favourite band.
    Just cause Michael Hutchence is dead, doesn't mean the Band shouldn't continue. They were and are still a band and it's not their fault their original singer killed himself. Why should they stop making great music, which by the way, they still are. Perhaps you should go buy a copy of the Switch album and pull your head out of the sand. It is a brilliant album...

  3. Hey Anonymous, CALM DOWN. Carly is entitled to her own opinion about both Rob Thomas and INXS and kudos to her that she doesn't feel the need to express it anonymously. Where is it written that everyone should love the Switch album, just because you do? Get over yourself, neither Rob nor INXS actually give a crap about your endless devotion to upholding their names.

    Carly - Thanks for the review! Matchbox 20 was the first band I ever saw live and I have fond, fond memories. I would have been viewing from your position too - it's not that I don't like Rob's solo music, it just doesn't resonate with me as much as his work with the band does. I'm glad you had a good time, even if it wasn't a GREAT time ;P x

  4. It's always funny, and sometimes refreshing to see the passion of fans defend their idol. Thanks for debating this on my blog.

    Anonymous 1 and 2 - I expected to hear MB20 songs because they featured on the Something to Be tour DVD.

    I was there when Rob said he was leaving the MB20 songs out to play Inxs. And I heard it on the USB recording, too. Just because he said he was leaving out the songs for this reason doesn't mean I'm not entitled to feel disappointed I didn't hear any MB20 songs. And it's the MB20 songs that I love the most.

    As for Inxs, I much preferred their old stuff. The same as I preferred Silverchair prior to Straight Lines, Alanis Morissette's first album, and Kings of Leon's first three albums. That is my preference and I'm entitled to it.

    And I'm not entirely naive as to think Rob Thomas would take on the role of lead singer of Inxs. I understand he has his own musical commitments. But out of all the lead singers post Michael Hutchence, I prefer Rob.

    Caf - thanks for your comment too. Matchbox Twenty's music is always something I return to. I think it's timeless.

  5. Any true fan of Rob Thomas would appreciate all his music, and love it all. if you want Matchbox 20 stuff then go see them and not Rob on his own.


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