It’s okay to make fun of Matchbox Twenty. Although they were originally described as radio-friendly grunge, they’re a mainstream rock band. In fact, they named their greatest hits album Exile on Mainstream — both a nod to the Rolling Stones double album Exile on Main Street and a joke about how they’ve been “banished” to middle-of-the-road massive commercial success.
I’ve always loved Matchbox Twenty, but I didn’t really think about why until Niki and I saw them at Jones Beach last week.
I’ve met Rob Thomas twice — both times eating in Westchester. I’ve seen his solo tours at Live 8 which we live-blogged in 2005 for AOL, at the Beacon Theater from the front row and again at Jones Beach. And we’ve seen Matchbox Twenty three or four times. Rob’s duet with Jewel on Stop Dragging My Heart Around and his surprise appearance with Santana for Smooth were two of my all-time favorite Jones Beach memories — and I’ve seen more than 50 shows there.
But when Rob said he was going to take us all back to 1996 for a few songs from their debut album it finally clicked.
Along with Alanis Morissette and Gin Blossoms, Matchbox Twenty was the soundtrack of the year I met Niki.
Seventeen years of Niki coincides with seventeen years of Matchbox Twenty.
That’s a great start.
August 17, 2013 setlist:
She’s So Mean
How Far We’ve Come
If You’re Gone
So Sad So Lonely (my favorite song of the night)
Jumpin’ Jack Flash (it was better than you’d think)
Back 2 Good (where drummer Stacy Jones switched instruments with guitarist Paul Doucette who played drums on the first 3 Matchbox Twenty albums)