10 years later, game, set, Matchbox Twenty

WORTH THE WAIT: Frontman Rob Thomas and his crew surprised with their musicianship and showmanship.


    Nov 12, 2013

    10 years later, game, set, Matchbox Twenty

    WHAT: Matchbox Twenty Live in Singapore

    VENUE: Singapore Indoor Stadium

    ATTENDANCE: 5,000

    WHEN: Sunday

    MATCHBOX Twenty's first full Singapore show was, to put it lightly, a long time coming.

    Indeed, the last time the American rock band stepped foot on our shores was in 2003, when the band appeared at the now-defunct MTV Asia Awards.

    On Sunday night, frontman Rob Thomas recalled that back then, they had travelled so far to perform just one song.

    "This is much better," he declared, thanking his 5,000-strong audience for being so patient.

    From the gig's kick-off at 8.20pm, it was clear Thomas, 41, and his crew - comprising bassist Brian Yale, 44; guitarists Paul Doucette, 41, and Kyle Cook, 38; along with touring musicians Stacy Jones, 42, and Matt Beck - were intent on making up for lost time. Over 105 minutes, the guys served up a high-octane 21-song set.

    I'll be completely honest here: Before attending Sunday's show, I was of the impression that this Floridian outfit was way past its prime, having enjoyed its greatest success in the late 1990s and early noughties.

    But I was pleasantly surprised by the impressive musicianship and overall showmanship demonstrated by the band.

    Much to fans' delight, they concentrated mostly on their older songs, busting out (at the time) radio-dominating tunes like 3AM (1998), Bent (2000) and Disease (2002) early on in the show.

    These early hits may have incited the loudest singalongs - majority of the crowd were in their late 20s and up, and seemingly bent on taking a rockin' walk down memory lane - but newer tracks, from their 2012 album North, were equally well-received.

    Never mind the no-frills stage set-up, Thomas' awkward hip gyrations or the couple of times his distinct, intense voice fell just short of hitting a note.

    By the time the guys appeared for their extended encore, which included a rollicking rendition of The Rolling Stones' Jumpin' Jack Flash, the consensus was apparent.

    Was Matchbox worth the wait? Undoubtedly.