Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Matchbox Twenty and this past weekend

It was early. Sunday Morning. My eyes popped open. I'd missed one of the concerts I had been looking forward to for MONTHS. My heart sank, my eyes closed again, my head smashed the pillow & I hoped I'd fall back asleep, if just for a little while to try and forget the funk I was feeling. We've had a lot of bills come in during the last month (way more than what we earnt in that time. Two words: 'council' & 'rates'). I'd come -smack down to earth- to the realisation that $160 was simply out of our means. My head said "just accept it" but my heart asked still asked "why?". I'd thought I had made peace with it. But I hadn't. That little green monster was stirring inside. Niggling. Making me so disappointed. For letting myself down once again.

So at 7:30am, day of the second concert in Melbourne, spur of the moment, I made the decision. That was it. I had to do it. My debit card took a pounding and a ticket was purchased. In that swift stroke over the keys of the computer, my entire weekend, the burden I felt on my shoulders, the suffocation of monotony, it all took a complete lift. My head felt clear though my heart was racing. I did something selfish. Took time for myself. Once my mind is set on something, that's it. There's something so thrilling about deciding to do something on a whim, isn't there? Though this time, it was no whim, I knew they would bring it to the table that night. My arms had goosebumps as I printed the ticket. I felt so young, alive and free!

Perhaps with the "un-announcement" of Darren Hayes' retirement by deciding to step out of the limelight recently, I'd frightened myself into thinking the end of my musical world was imminent. That fact is still raw, I don't really want to discuss that yet. The cut is deep. Either way, I knew I just had to be there for this one! So I went and saw one of my most favourite bands live. Matchbox Twenty, featuring Rob Thomas. Driving in the car, I played their latest CD (which I loved as soon as I heard it) and burrowed down reflecting into my thoughts. I left 3 hours early, not wanting to miss any moment. 

Between Matchbox Twenty, Savage Garden and No Doubt, I have the soundtrack to my entire Teenage Years and all of my Twenties. Bring on flirty-thirty next year! (though recently I've made inroads to that too... hehehe ;) ). Back in the day I'd probably have done an in-depth concert review. But my memory since having had children is a shadow of what it used to be. It was never that good to start with. This is not about the actual night, it's about how they make me feel. What I will say though, is, like a fine wine, they have got so much better with age. Looking back on you tube to even four years ago, they have matured.

To me, Matchbox Twenty feel like family. Like a comfy, handmade knit from my Grandmother, a cuppa from mum, a big 'ole hug, they feel like toasty warm slippers. Hearing their songs, there is overtone of seriousness to them like a word of advice from my father. The quick wit and playfulness, like my children. With a comfortable, lived in feel perhaps one would get from a well worn pair of jeans from a sister. Each of their songs a mixture of fractured, scarred, in-perfect REAL life. In such a confused modern world, they are still so easy to connect and identify with. When I don't know the answer, I'll switch them on and sing my little heart out. They're like my own little security blanket. If you have ever been in the car driving with me, you would have heard them playing over the speakers for sure. In that 3mins: 46seconds, everything is OK. And even if it's not, I've been able to release some of the tension. 

With their new album they also have had a little fun. The first two singles "she's so mean" & "put your hands up" have a fresh new jive. Every time I hear the latter I think of how it's reminiscent of Maroon 5. There are some songs on there I can't wait to listen to in summer. Do you ever think how some songs remind you of seasons? of colours? of memories so little yet so significant, you didn't even realise at the time? I hear "overjoyed" saying all the things I wish I had the balls to say, like I used to, and I'm smack bang at the tail end of the nineties. Where you don't have to play safe, where you dare to take risks. It's a place in time musically, I wish more bands could have captured and maintained. Yes, even damn mmmBop. Perhaps that's the whimsical teenager in me, who was forced to grow up early due to my own decisions in life, screaming to escape. "Overjoyed" in particular makes me think of a few things. Pen Pals, and certain E-mails. Of sharing hopes and dreams. The quiet words, secrets shared, in the dark in the middle of the night before Y2K. I just saw the filmclip to "Overjoyed". It truly fits. For 16 years my love for MB20 hasn't faded, if anything, it's stronger than ever. Other fans surely must feel the same, as is the raging success of the new album in so many countries but especially my own.

Sure on enough at this concert they had the flashing lights, the fancy screens, the charming introduction video to entice the mainstream fans. But in reality all it needed was the instruments, the people, and the voice(s). When MB20 and indeed Rob Thomas in his own right tour, to me, the most touching part is when the audience are lost in the music, everything is stripped back and a little honesty is unravelled. Ala the trio of "Smooth" "Natural" and "Ever the same" by Rob in 2010. This time, my highlight was seeing him go out of his way to collect an Aussie flag from a fan, trying not once but about three times to retrieve it, finally asking security to grab it. Then the music played as he raced to the top of the stage and simply sat and chatted to Paul and took the night in. Perhaps he was also preparing for when the crowd went absolutely wild when they played "let's see how far we've come". It was apt for how I was feeling, too.

As an Aussie fan, we really have been spoilt. As another fan sitting next to me pointed out, MB20 has toured approximately every four years, with Rob touring the 2 years in between. It really is a special band that can make you feel lucky to be a fan.


I've added these at the end, because I don't want any sentiment to be lost, but here are some pictures:

The awesome foursome

I love the connection of guitars and vocals between Kyle and Rob, ever since the first time I saw them tour in '98

And Paul and Rob's banter... hillarious...
Here they are on the big screen at the back of the stage.
Rob's proudly wearing his Aussie flag.

Playing some songs from the new album.. sorry the picture is blurry, my camera started to give up the ghost by then.
Can't wait to sit around in the warmer weather & enjoy these new songs with an ice cold beer!

Last song of the night, Push. I connect with this one especially lately.

I also saw INXS, this time fronted by Ciaran Gribbin. Was wonderful to hear KICK live. An album my dad got me into. I loved it so much I had to buy my own copy. I think I played it until it wore out. My one tiny downside to my night (materialistic I know) was missing out on a kick baseball cap. I really wanted one. They only had the t shirts.

Sexy Leprechaun Ciaran, top left of photo #reowwwww #IsthatabigstagelightorareyoujusthappytoseeMelbourne ?? ;)

An equally enticing photo. Look at all those wonderful guitarists lined up in a pretty row.

Was pleased to see Evermore.... which was extremely wonderful too. My friends walked down the isle to one of their songs a couple of years ago. Lovely. Some of their songs I listen to on my iPod most weeks on my way to the footy.

I'd love to see these guys and Temper Trap together.

I do hope you had a great weekend, too.
Signing off.