×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Matchbox Twenty

On paper, the gulf between Pearl Jam and the Eagles looks like a tough one to bridge — but in practice, Matchbox Twenty had had no trouble at all building a virtual Chunnel between the posturing machismo of the former and the angst-ridden sensitivity of the latter.

With:
Musicians: Rob Thomas, Kyle Cook, Adam Gaynor, Brian Yale, Paul Doucette, Ben Stivers.

On paper, the gulf between Pearl Jam and the Eagles looks like a tough one to bridge — but in practice, Matchbox Twenty had had no trouble at all building a virtual Chunnel between the posturing machismo of the former and the angst-ridden sensitivity of the latter.

The value of that union is certainly not open to debate in the offices of Atlantic Records, where the band’s multiplatinum certs festoon wall after wall. But over the course of this 90-minute perf (which fell one day after the release of its sophomore set, “Mad Season”), however, Matchbox Twenty’s raison d’etre was questionable at best.

Bolstered by the success of his collaboration with Carlos Santana, frontman Rob Thomas has developed enough presence to sidestep the “Which one’s Hootie?” questions that plagued the band’s labelmates and spiritual doppelgangers. But Thomas’ is an odd presence indeed. At times, the singer is the very model of the modern frat boy — an image he leavens with a heaping helping of doe-eyed sensitivity.

The emoting manifested itself quite effectively on some of “Mad Season’s” more pensive numbers, including “Angry,” but verged on mawkishness when Thomas crept into the treacly back patting of “Last Beautiful Girl.” None of Thomas’ bandmates demonstrated the slightest inclination to share the spotlight, opting to go through their workmanlike paces with clock-punching lassitude.

Packed house responded enthusiastically to hits from “Yourself or Someone Like You” — particularly “Real World” and the oddly misanthropic “Push.” Unfamiliarity aside, the newer material didn’t fare as well, in part because juxtapositions demonstrated that the band’s rep is based on two types of songs that have been rewritten a dozen times each: the rocked-up ballad (characterized by “Rest Stop”) and the ballad-inflected rocker (“Crutch”).

A three-song encore, punctuated by an odd rendition of the Who’s “Eminence Front,” was something of an anticlimax, proving only that Matchbox Twenty’s songs go down smoothly and leave no aftertaste at all.

Matchbox Twenty

Irving Plaza; 900 capacity; $26

Production: Presented by Delsener-Slater Entertainment. Reviewed May 24, 2000.

Cast: Musicians: Rob Thomas, Kyle Cook, Adam Gaynor, Brian Yale, Paul Doucette, Ben Stivers.

More Music

  • Spice Girls Open Reunion Tour in

    Spice Girls Open European Reunion Tour With Inclusivity Proclamations, Sound Issues

    Posh Spice chose not to be included, but there was a lot of other inclusivity to go around as the four other Spice Girls opened their reunion tour in Dublin Friday night. “We welcome all ages, all races, all gender identifies, all countries of origin, all sexual orientations, all religions and beliefs, all abilities,” they [...]

  • Moby attends the LA premiere of

    Moby Apologizes to Natalie Portman Over Book Controversy

    Moby has issued an apology of sorts after writing in his recently published memoir “Then It Fell Apart” that he dated Natalie Portman when she was 20 — a claim the actress refuted. “As some time has passed I’ve realized that many of the criticisms leveled at me regarding my inclusion of Natalie in Then [...]

  • Billie Eilish

    Billie Eilish Fans to Receive Perks Due to Chicago Venue Change

    Billie Eilish and her music agents at Paradigm are experiencing what most would call a first class problem. The demand to see the 17-year-old singer live has prompted a change of venue for her June 9 show in Chicago — from the 5,000-capacity Aragon Ballroom to the 20,000-plus-seat United Center arena. The last-minute venue change [...]

  • Moby Natalie Portman

    Moby Accuses Natalie Portman of Lying as the Two Spar Over Dating Claims

    In what’s become a he said/she said spat in multiple mediums, Moby, the elder statesman of electronic music, is now accusing actress Natalie Portman of lying and pleading to those on social media for his safety as “physical threats from complete strangers” emerge. To recap: this month, Moby released a new book, “Then It All [...]

  • Ellen DeGeneres Buys Adam Levine’s Beverly

    Adam Levine Cashes in on Sale of Max Mutchnick’s Former Mansion to Ellen DeGeneres

    Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo have sold a baronial Beverly Hills mansion with an illustrious chain of ownership for a reported $45 million to Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. The mainstream radio rock star, who, it was announced Friday, will not to return as a coach on “The Voice,” and the Namibian-born Victoria’s Secret [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content