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Friday, February 8, 2008

Last Night in Cleveland: Matchbox Twenty

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2008 at 12:54 PM

Although we did talk our photographer into showing up, we couldn't coax any of our snobby-ass rock critics into covering last night's Matchbox Twenty show at the Q. Michael Gallucci was afraid Paul Duccette was going to jump off stage and beat him with his guitar after his story in this week's Scene. DX Ferris just didn't think there'd be enough blood. As for the rest of them, we have no idea, but we presume they were at Music Saves, debating the undercurrent of the subtext of Arcade Fire's latest album cover. But alas, not everyone with a pen breaks into hives when a band accidentally sells more than 150 records. We enlisted a local fan, 25-year-old Jeff Zaleski, to give us the lowdown on last night's show. Read on for Zaleski's review. And if you see any of our critics stroking their chins at the Grog Shop this weekend, feel free to spill your Pabst on them. -- Joe P. Tone This stop of the band’s Exile In America tour was fantastic, right down to the opening acts. Kicking things off was the New Orleans-based group Mute Math. The jammy alt-rock group played a half-hour, four-song set from their new full-length debut album, Electric Fun. After songs like “Chaos”, “Typical”, and “Control,” the highlight of their performance was their final song, “Break the Same,” during which keyboardist Paul Meany performed a handstand and flip. They also played the Transformers theme song, which pretty much sums it up. It was a dynamite performance by an up-and-coming group, which later autographed merchandise near one of the section entrances. Alanis Morissette took the stage next, kicking things off with her Grammy award-winning “Uninvited.” She played Gen-X anthem “You Oughta Know,” big single “Hand In My Pocket,” and new tunes like “Virgins of Violence” and “Everything.” The Cannuck singer closed her hour-long set with her Grammy-nominated song “Ironic.” Matchbox Twenty took the stage at 9 p.m. sharp. After a brief intro movie, complete with a 60-seconds countdown, the band launched their performance with “How Far We’ve Come.” Among the highlights was lead singer Rob Thomas’s request for everyone in the audience to turn on their cell phones, I-Phones, and Blackberries, so that the crowd could serve as the entertainment (in the form of a video segment) during “These Hard Times.” The crowd went crazy for the bands hits, “The Difference,” “Downfall,” “Bent,” “If You’re Gone,” “I’ll Believe You When,” “3 A.M.,” and the song Thomas identified as “The Happiest ‘I Hate You’ Song” – “All Your Reasons.” For an encore, the radio-rock giants broke out “Unwell” and “I Can’t Let You Go,” saving their breakthrough single, “Push,” for last. In the end, pretty much everyone seemed thrilled with the show, from survivors of the ‘90s to to Baldwin-Wallace High School students ramping up for spring break. Matchbox Twenty, it turns out, is a band for all ages. As long as they're not critics. – Jeff Zaleski

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