Matchbox Twenty and Counting Crows: A Brief History of Everything At Toyota Music Factory!! – Irving, TX 10/1/17

MATCHBOX TWENTY and COUNTING CROWS delivered a powerful performance with their A Brief History of Everything Tour on Sunday night at Toyota Music Factory in Irving, TX. The sold out concert consisted of three bands, with the first, RIVERS AND RUST beginning at 6:45 followed by co-headliner COUNTING CROWS and then MATCHBOX TWENTY hit the stage and played all their greatest hit songs.

Most of us accidently fell in love with COUNTING CROWS from the release of their first hit song, Mr. Jones in 1993. Since then they’ve released seven studio albums and six live albums with songs we all recognize from the radio. The seven-piece band opened their set with “Round Here”, a smash hit which brought enthusiasm as well as the crowd to their feet.

Lead vocalist Adam Duritz is as laid back as the dreadlocked singer appears to be, with a look all his own including a dark heavy mustache, goatee, and dark wide rimmed glasses, wearing denim jeans with holes large enough to put your fist through, and a black t-shirt with a star.

Duritz fully found his soulful voice three songs in and maintained it throughout the duration of the set. When he performs the raw emotion you feel from him seems endless, and the band has truly stood the test of time, although it has seen members come and go throughout the 25+ years. But that is to be expected. After several songs, Rob Thomas along with MATCHBOX TWENTY lead guitarist Kyle Cook joined the band onstage which really got the fans stoked to be in attendance and eager to hear more.

The backdrop was a brightly lit bridge that was really cool to watch as the lights flickered on and off and was very unique. Duritz proudly announced to the audience that together between both bands they donated $100K to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. The reaction from the crowd was as large as the money donated. This band has proven to have stood the test of time and while MATCHBOX TWENTY certainly stole the show COUNTING CROWS was definitely an added bonus and these crows are still flying high!

MATCHBOX TWENTY’S Rob Thomas, frontman and lead vocalist is a clean cut, all-American boy next door in appearance. A rock star, he delivered a stellar show alongside his fellow bandmates on this night. Thomas’ vocals were impeccable from the first note through the last.  His physique is something probably to be admired by men and desired by women.

There was no grand entrance as the band members simply walked onto a dark stage and waited patiently for the tape to end and the lights to come on. They opened with hit song “Real World” and from that moment on the audience was completely captivated. They followed up with “Girl Like That”, “Damn”, “Shame”, “She’s So Mean”, “Bent”, “If You’re Gone”, and “Hand Me Down.”

From the get go Rob Thomas gave you a warm and welcome feeling of we’re all gathered here to enjoy what would be the last show for COUNTING CROWS on this tour. He immediately began encouraging everyone to embrace their comfort zone and feel free to participate. The crowd willingly obliged and it felt like you were attending an intimate night of sing-along music surrounded by a plethora of friends who were sharing their love of MATCHBOX TWENTY

Thomas has proven he can hold his own as you hang on every word he sings. These guys are solid and the bandmates are multi-talented and just plain fun to watch perform.  Four songs in, the alluring Thomas was dripping in sweat as he continued singing with massive amounts of emotion and feeling.

He hopped up and down on the stage, moving from one side to the other, allowing adoring fans to snap pictures, his arms held out like an airplane and at times spinning around and it looked like he was even jumping with an invisible rope. 

Beaming with pride, he was eager to tell their loyal fanbase that the band was celebrating 20 years from the release of their first album Yourself Or Someone Like You, followed by “And we’re here because you’ve really been good to us”.

This was the first show I’ve attended where VIP ticket holders were not only privy to a meet and greet with the band but were allowed to view the show on the side of the stage on a platform elevated mid air.

Kyle Cook, the attractive, debonair, white haired guitarist and backup vocalist, songwriter and producer had previously announced via social media that with mixed emotions, he is leaving the band. He has partnered with Sheila Marshall to form RIVERS AND RUST, who performed earlier. This concert was bittersweet knowing that Cook is making his departure from this great band.

.As Thomas came back out onstage with a black Dallas Cowboys t-shirt on, the night ended with an encore of “Don’t You Forget About Me” by SIMPLE MINDS, “3 a.m.”, “Long Day” and “Bright Lights.” Thomas sincerely encouraged the crowd to fully support Cook and RIVERS AND RUST as they embark on their new musical journey together. This concert lived up to what was expected…A Brief History of Everything!!



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