Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Matchbox 20 - Live in Singapore, Finally!

After a 10-year absence (and so sorely missed by their fans here), rock band Matchbox 20 finally made it to the Red Dot Island. The last time they were here, as Red Dot Diva remembers, it was during the MTV Asia Awards in 2003.

Their stint in this part of the world was in support of their latest album release called "North", and the Singapore Indoor Stadium was the last stop of their Asian tour.

It was unfortunate that they had to give Manila a miss due to Typhoon Yolanda, but the band is hoping to reschedule for a Philippines concert date in the future.

At the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 10 November, Sunday night, not only were there the locals and the expats, Red Dot Diva noticed that there were many regional fans from Malaysia and Indonesia who flew in just for the band's live performance. It was not entirely a full house but there was a good enough crowd, with many of the hardcore fans and music lovers at the free standing area near the stage.

Red Dot Diva and her concert buddies - Ryan and Jean - were about seven to eight people deep from the stage barrier, and they had a pretty good view of what was going on stage. Best of all, they got their spots at about an hour earlier before the concert began. Score!!

At about 8:30 PM, the stadium lights suddenly dimmed: an obvious sign that Matchbox 20 was about to kick off their performance. All eyes were on stage and as the first flare of stage lights came on, lead singer Rob Thomas - who was dressed simply in all black and in fine form - kicked off the first song from their new album called "Parade" together with bandmates - Kyle Cook, Paul Doucette, Brian Yale, keyboardist Matt Beck and touring drummer Stacy Jones.


From the get go, it was clear that the band was tight and very polished when performing live. It was also so magical to hear Rob's familiar, sexy voice belting out the hits that one so often only hears on the radio or iPod.

Going with a set list that consisted of a mix of old and new songs, they proceeded to roll on to the popular tunes - "Bent" and "Disease". The crowd went wild, even when almost 75% surrounding Red Dot Diva were excitedly holding up their smartphones like lightsticks to take photos or record video clips.

Before they continued on to the next sequence of songs, Rob mentioned that the last time they were here, they only played one song, and it felt really good to be able to do a full concert for the fans this time round. He urged everyone to hang loose, and enjoy this special time both band and fans are sharing with each other, "Because we are not going to have this time back again. So, let us be your house band tonight."

*Screeeeeamssssss!!!* *We love you Robbb!!!"

They made good their promise by hitting up the fast driving numbers like "3 AM" and "Girl Like That", as well as mellowing way down with "English Town" from their current album. Despite beating the heat of the stage lights by taking sips of water and short breathers in between segments, Matchbox 20 never lost a beat. Red Dot Diva thought that the band members were all totally at ease on stage, and the added vocal harmonies provided by Kyle and bassist Brian to Rob's strong voice, were very easy on the ears.

During the show, Rob took turns at playing the guitar and tambourine. He also started off "Bright Lights" alone on a grand piano under a dramatic spotlight. The song was delivered beautifully, with the crowd singing along with him and his spare piano accompaniment. It later swelled to a full all-out jam featuring some really wild guitar licks from Kyle Cook, and truly showcased how in sync the band was. "Bright Lights" ended with an electrifying rock climax; the stage lights dimmed and the audience realized all too soon, that that was the finale to the band's performance too.


No way! The fans did not have enough of Matchbox 20 yet! There were stomps, whistles and continuous chants and claps to lure them back for an encore.

Some minutes later, they all hopped back on stage to the cheering crowd.

Kyle - who is awfully sexy in his black-rimmed glasses, silver foxy pompadour, rolled up shirt sleeves (undoubtedly enhancing his innate bicepstuousness) and that rockabilly fashion style of his - calmly sat at the centre of the stage with his electric guitar, and started up a masterful string of bluesy lines which sent Red Dot Diva almost to heaven.

The blues jam segued smoothly to a rousing cover of Rolling Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash" that got the audience pumping and bopping to the beat. Rob even came down the stage to run down the barrier, touching the fans' hands.

Before they wrapped their performance with fan favourites "Back to Good" and "Push" for the four-song encore, Rob sincerely apologized for taking so long to come back here. And said that the band was very grateful that the fans are still here, and still willing to come to listen to them.


With that, one of the best live concert performances Red Dot Diva has ever attended came to an end. The band waved, blew kisses and gave their last bows as a group to the fans. Kyle took a quick snapshot of the crowd with his smartphone, which he later posted on Twitter.

Both he and Paul threw guitar picks randomly to the fans. Despite several aggressive fans scrambling on the floor to get their hands on the picks, Jean managed to grab one! The lucky lady.

And then, they were gone.

Nothing beats spending a weekend night rockin' out and celebrating life with a band that plays perfect live. After watching Matchbox 20 give their all to the fans here last Sunday night, Red Dot Diva loves them even more now!

Do come back again soon, you guys!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Red Dot Diva,

    We tried to look for your email contact but it does not seem to be available on your blog. So we are contacting you via a comment.

    On behalf of the National Library Board (NLB), we would like to invite you to pledge your blog to the Singapore Memory Project (SMP).

    We find that your entries about your exciting experiences would be a great addition to the Singapore Memory Project.

    We think your blog would offer a different perspective. Whether your posts are an account of your daily life or an expression of your thoughts, our project hopes to find a home for these memories so that it can help build a ground-up understanding of Singapore.

    If you believe memories are worth preserving, simply pledge your blog here: http://singaporememory.simulation.com.sg/Public/Pledge.

    The SMP is a national initiative started in 2011 to collect, preserve and provide access to stories, moments and memories related to Singapore. For more information about this initiative, you may wish to contact Mr Patrick Cher at patrick_cher@nlb.gov.sg or read the FAQ.

    Yours sincerely,

    [Simulation Software & Technologies (S2T) Pte Ltd. is the officially appointed vendor for SMP for the period Nov 2012 to Dec 2013.]