Posted on 8/17/2012
On Friday August 10th 2012, our Concert Blast friend and guest blogger Tina Williams (aka “Alabama Tina”) and her husband Jonathon joined a small, but packed room to enjoy an acoustic set and conversation with Rob Thomas and Kyle Cook of Matchbox Twenty. Nashville radio station 107.5 The River hosted this special event for winning fans / media only at their station’s room known as the Direct Auto Insurance Garage. Members of Matchbox Twenty stopped there as a part of their radio station tour to promote their upcoming album. Enjoy reading Tina’s step by step review of this fun afternoon with Matchbox Twenty!
Written by Tina Williams
Although we were treated to a greatest hits album from Matchbox Twenty in 2007 it has been 10 years since this phenomenal band has released an album full of completely new songs. Finally, the time has come for their new album titled “North,” set to be released in September 2012, to come out and take everyone by storm. Their newest release “She’s So Mean” has left many of us with a huge smile on our face, as it is full of the fun and quirky lyrics that this band is known and loved for.
I was lucky enough to catch Rob Thomas and Kyle Cook at the start of their radio promotion tour for the new album in Nashville, Tennessee at 107.5 The River radio station in the Direct Auto Insurance Garage. The employees and D.J.’s are all so friendly at this location. DJ Lunchbox was working hard to set up food and drinks for all of the fans and winners to enjoy before the show started via Zaxby’s. Before the fans were able to enter, the press was treated to a quick and quite hilarious sound check from Rob and Kyle, in which Kyle stated, “I could maybe use a little bit more Rob” in which Rob responded “We all could”, which caused a roar of laughter amongst us. Kyle said, “I feel like this is all anti-climactic now because we’re going to leave and come back and do this again”, but Rob interjected stating, “There are a lot of other people out there that didn’t see this yet. They are really missing out on this comedic gold going on in here right now.” Again, we all laughed as they departed the room so they could make a grand entrance once all of the fans had entered the room.
The fans were let in and calmly found a nice spot to sit, some of which made a spot on the floor where there were no seats just to be closer to the band that they love. Woody and Jim from the morning show on 107.5 came in and made the short introduction for Matchbox Twenty to enter the room. They asked, “How would the band like to be introduced?” The band responded, “How would you introduce Elton John?” Then they introduced them in the following, “Here is Sir Rob and Sir Kyle!” Rob and Kyle sat on their stools and grabbed their guitars. Rob said, “I’m not just blowing smoke, but this is one of our favorite places to play because this is such a cool little lounge and they work hard to make sure everyone has a good time.” As they started to play, Kyle reminded Rob to put on his guitar capo. Rob said, “It’s been 10 years, what do you expect?” That brought on a nice chuckle and then they started playing “She’s So Mean.” They sounded great, but the biggest surprise to me was how good Kyle sounded. We have grown to love Rob Thomas and his vocals, but I was never aware of how talented of a vocalist Kyle Cook was until hearing them sing together in this acoustic environment. This is a fun song that I personally thought was a good choice for their first release off of the new album.
Next, Rob said that they had been in the studio and in rehearsal space forever so it felt good to finally see some real faces. Then they decided to delight the fans with a fan favorite when they hit the opening chord to “3 A.M.” The fans were off and running with screams. They flawlessly played and sang while the audience sang along. Afterwards, Rob laid down his guitar so they could start the Q and A with the audience.
One audience member asked if Paul was still ridiculously crazy concerning their lighting sets. Kyle responded, “Paul swore to me that this time he was not going to be that guy and he was still that guy.”
Rob said, “Paul told me to take care of everything and then when I made a decision Paul wouldn’t like it and he would change it.” Kyle said, “Yes, he’s an obstructionist.” Rob responded, “He rules this band with an iron fist. A lot of people don’t know that about Paul, which is funny because Paul is actually 3ft 1in.” Their answers continued to make all of the audience laugh as they were continuous jokesters with their responses.
The next question from an audience member was basically if it was hard to keep writing new music after all of this time for their longtime fans. Rob said, “I don’t know. For most of us it is the only thing we do. It doesn’t feel hard, but if you put me under the hood of a car I would be like an alien. I don’t know anything about sports, I don’t know anything about cars, I don’t know anything about electronics, but I know about this.” Kyle said, “This is true.” The fan responded, “As one of those fans, please keep making Matchbox Twenty music and not this crap that is on the radio.” Rob said, “Done, but is it ok if we become some of the crap that is on the radio?” People laughed and cheered. Then Rob said, “If you’re another band out there on the radio listening to this, we’re not talking about you.” Everyone roared with laughter yet again.
The radio host asked if the band had ever played any weird venues like a picnic or birthday party. Kyle couldn’t really recall any and then Rob made the statement, “Full confession, there is like a full 5 year period at the beginning of our career that I don’t remember very well, so I am sure that it happened.” This sent everyone into hysterical laughter. Kyle said, “There were a lot of concerts at people’s house after the concert.” Rob said, “Back in the day before everybody was married and really even before cell phones, we would leave a venue at 9 p.m. and wind up at somebody’s house miles away and it was the tour managers job just to find us.” Kyle said, “Yes, and you’d wake up at some guys named Jeff and his girlfriend making you breakfast.” Everyone, including Kyle and Rob were laughing about this situation. Rob ended with, “I’d like to say they were the good ole days but again I don’t remember them.”
The next fan asked, “I heard that you don’t like performing the song “Mad Season” and I’d like to know why?” Rob quickly responded, “We’re doing it now!” Kyle said, “Are you happy about that?” She said, “Yeah.” Rob said, “For 12 years Paul was our drummer but when we did our greatest hits album Paul became our guitar player so we had to hire a drummer named Stacy who is amazing and he really loved “Mad Season”.” Rob started naming off different bands that Stacy had played in and then Kyle interjected with, “He was also the drummer for Miley Cyrus and we also have the monitor guy that worked with Miley so pretty soon Miley is going to call us and tell us to stop hiring my people!” Rob said, “Yeah, as long as we are playing, Miley Cyrus can’t go on the road now. We just have all of her people. I think Billy Ray is coming soon.” Kyle said, “Yes, we have Billy Ray opening.” At that time a fan did ask if they would be touring through Nashville and Rob said that they should be coming through sometime next year.
The last question came from one of the camera men and he said, “The song “Rest Stop” is kind of a cruel and unusual song. Is that based on some sort of true story?” Rob responded, “Yes, when I was 18 or 19 I went to Spring Break. I literally hitchhiked to Daytona and slept on park benches in Daytona for Spring Break. I met this group of 5 girls that were really nice and I used to travel with this little keyboard, so they let me stay in their room, buy me beer, and dinner as long as I would play when we all got back to the room.” Kyle jokingly said, “You were the piano man,” and we all chuckled. Rob said, “Yes I was.”
Rob continued, “Me and one of the girls started dating and we had a plan that I was going to ride back with her because she lived somewhere else in Florida. I was going to stay with her and we were going to see if we could make this relationship work. Halfway back to her hometown while I was asleep she pulled over the car.” She said, “Look this just isn’t going to work.” Rob said, “She put me out on the side of the road with my bags. I wasn’t heartbroken but I was pissed off because there was a sign that said [Rest Stop 3 Miles] and I was like you Bi***!” Kyle said, “I wonder what she thinks about that now.”
The questioner asked, “What would you say to her now?” Rob responded, “Bi***, 3 Miles!” Everyone started laughing. Kyle said, I don’t think there is any reason for you to change your stance on that at all.” Rob said, “It’s been like 20 years and I am still like Argh!!!” Kyle said, “Time does not heal some things.” Rob ended it by stating that she was a nice girl at a nice time that did something not so nice.
Then coyly he said, “She’s so mean.”
We were then treated to a live performance of the song “Overjoyed” from their new album. This was the first time they had played it in front of an audience. Rob seemed a little nervous and his voice cracked a little but still sounded beautiful. Rob put down the guitar and stood up for this performance. He also commented on his voice cracking as just one of those things that you know is coming but can’t stop it from happening.
Lastly, they finished off with a great story about Mick Jagger and the song “Disease.” Rob said, “This is one of my favorite stories. I wrote this next song with Mick Jagger. Many people can’t say that. He is very famous, very famous. We wrote 2 songs together and Mick decided that Matchbox Twenty should record one of those songs.” Rob excitedly followed up the story, “Mick left me a voicemail which freaked me out! I left that voicemail on my machine for 2 years. Every time that someone would come over to my house I would say, “Oh, let me check my messages” and then there was Mick’s voicemail.”
He said, “I would look at whoever was at my house and say, “Oh, it’s just Mick, calling me again.” He said, “That’s my Mick story because I am a geek.” They then played “Disease” and rocked the lounge.
This show really made me wonder, should these guys be musicians or comedians. Just as talented as they were musically, they were also just as funny, which should be incorporated into every Matchbox Twenty performance. We ended with a quick meet and greet where the band was gracious, gave quick hugs, and took a photo with us in groups. This band is one of the most talented pop rock bands of our time. The vocals of Rob Thomas and Kyle Cook are beautiful and unique. The music of Matchbox Twenty belongs to them and no one can really touch their unique sound. I look forward to purchasing their new album “North” coming out in September 2012 and seeing them on tour. Get ready, it is going to be a fun ride!
Written by Tina Williams
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Tags: 107.5 The River, Alabama Tina, blog, concert blast, concertblast, Direct Insurance Garage, Kyle Cook, lunchbox, matchbox 20, Matchbox Twenty concert review, north, radio station, Rob Thomas, Tina Williams