The crowd fought through Monday’s rush hour traffic to witness Rob Thomas‘ two decades of hits. Thomas articulated to the crowd that the reason people go through hassle to see live music is to “celebrate being alive.” If that’s true, I must celebrate being alive a lot.
Backed by a solid group of musicians, Thomas started out with the upbeat I Love It from his new album Chip Tooth Smile (Thomas has a chipped front tooth that he never fixed). He moved onto his solo hits Real Word ’09, Lonely No More, and Her Diamonds (about how his wife lives with a rare autoimmune disease). “And she says oh/I can’t take no more/Her tears like diamonds on the floor/And her diamonds bring me down/Cause I can’t help her now.” After that song about illness, Thomas infomed the crowd that the next track is a happy one about death called Heaven Help Me. It was an extremely joyous song …about mortality.
After playing more songs from his impressive catalog, Thomas stated, “I don’t know in this setting if these are covers songs. But I wrote them. So …” That’s when he played another Matchbox Twenty track Unwell that had the crowd singing-along. Someone in the audience shouted out requests for more Matchbox Twenty songs. Thomas responded by stating, “Your going to have to wait until next year when Matchbox twenty comes back.”
Thomas explained to the audience that he texts Carlos Santana frequently. Every one of their conversations consists of Santana asking him to focus on motive, intention, purpose, and gratitude. That’s when Thomas dedicated Smooth (the second most successful song of all time according to Billboard) to Uncle Carlos. The night ended with This is How a Heart Beats from his debut solo album Something to Be.
I was expecting a pop act to be the opener. But surprisingly Abby Anderson was more Tanya Tucker than Britney Spears. Anderson made her debt at the Grande Ole Opry last year. She won the crowd over with a spot on rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams. Anderson also used James Brown samples and slipped in some Aretha Franklin’s Respect into the middle of her original songs. Anderson introduced her hit Good Lord by telling the crowd, “You might of heard this one on country radio.” She ended with Naked Truth describing catching her boyfriend with another woman on social media. “Whoa-oh, on her Instagram/She never should posted that with my man.”
See you at the next show. I’ll be the one with dental work. I fixed my crack tooth.