Matchbox Twenty Strive for Epic Tour


More Matchbox Twenty to go around on upcoming tour
Posted Sep 12, 2000 at 12:00am
"Springsteen-style" is how Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas says the band will approach its thirty-date fall tour, which kicks off tonight in New Orleans, La. "When we toured after our first record, we only had those twelve songs to play," he explains, "but now we can play for two hours and still have something left for a genuine encore." During their shows -- held on college campuses across the country -- Matchbox Twenty will run through most of the songs on both their debut album and the recent Mad Season. They played a handful of club gigs this spring, but Thomas says the band is anxious to go on an extended road trip, bolstered by a confidence it didn't have on previous tours. "You start to realize that the people who come to see us now actually want to hear us play," he says. "We just do what we do, and it's not like we're trying to impress anyone."

In keeping with that less bombastic approach, Matchbox Twenty are going to scale back their stage production, skipping the lasers and video screens and opting for a layout reminiscent of shows Thomas remembers seeing as a kid. "We want to make it like a set from the Seventies, with backlighting and shadows and hanging lamps to give the stage a sense of living and breathing," he says. "We're not Marilyn Manson. We just try to work with the emotional content of the songs."

Back when Matchbox Twenty were short on original material, they filled out their set with a slew of covers, and Thomas says they have no intention of ditching Willie Nelson's "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," the Cure's "Fascination Street" or the Who's "Eminence Front" on the upcoming tour. And because they're going out with a three-piece horn section -- necessary for Mad Season songs like "Black and White People" and "If You're Gone" -- they're also working on readying horn-heavy covers like James Brown's "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4."

Shelby Lynne will be the opening act for the second half of the tour, but during the first three weeks it'll be the Jayhawks, one of Thomas' favorite bands. Jayhawks guitarist Gary Louris swears he doesn't mind opening for guys who were still in grade school fifteen years ago, when his band's first album came out. "We've warmed up for everybody from Johnny Cash to the Wallflowers," he says. "It's always fun to go out there and win people over."

Matchbox Twenty tour dates:

9/12: New Orleans, LA, UNO Lakefront Arena
9/14: College Station, TX, Reed Arena
9/15: Austin, TX, Frank Erwin Center
9/17: Tallahassee, FL, Civic Center
9/18: Gainesville, FL, O'Connell Center
9/20: Greensboro, NC, Coliseum Complex
9/22: Amherst, MA, Mullins Center
9/23: Troy, NY, RPI Fieldhouse
9/24: University Park, PA, Bryce Jordan Center
9/26: Columbus, OH, Schottenstein Center
9/27: Muncie, IN, University Arena
9/28: Ypsilanti, MI, Convocation Center
9/30: Toronto, ONT, Air Canada Center
10/1: Grand Rapids, MI, Van Andel Arena
10/2: South Bend, IN, Notre Dame Joyce Center
10/4: Terre Haute, IN, ISU Hulman Center
10/5: Champaign, IL, Assembly Hall
10/6: Carbondale, IL, SIU Arena
10/8: Madison, WI, Kohl Center Arena
10/9: Mankato, MN, Civic Center
10/10: Omaha, NE, Omaha Civic Auditorium
10/12: Iowa City, IA, Carver-Hawkeye Arena
10/13: Ames, IA, Hilton Coliseum
10/14: Columbia, MO, Hearnes Center
10/16: Denver, CO, Magness Arena
10/17: Orem, UT, McKay Events Center
10/18: Nampa, ID, Idaho Center
10/20: Reno, NV, Lawlor Events Center
10/21: Las Vegas, NV, Thomas & Mack Center
10/22: San Diego, CA, Cox Arena

Written by JENNY ELISCU for RollingStone.com News

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