The last time I’ve heard of Matchbox Twenty was when Rob Thomas released “Lonely No More” which went on to become very successful as a solo artist. I continued listening to the band’s classic hits on my iPod. I enjoyed their retrospect album entitled Exile on Mainstream in 2007.
And then that’s it.
I never heard about the band again. I don’t follow their news anymore.
In 2012, the band was back with a new album, “North”. They began touring. Yesterday, I’ve heard from a friend that they’re coming to Manila. I could not believe it. I went online and found out that it was true.
On November 8, 2013, Matchbox Twenty will be coming to Manila for a one-night only concert at the Mall of Asia Arena. In 2005, Rob Thomas mentioned in an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer that he wants to come to the Philippines. After eight years, Filipino fans can finally see them live and on stage.
The band is on tour to support “North”, their latest album. It was released last September 12, 2013 and went to number 1 in the Bilboard 200 on the same day. However, as an early fan and as someone who listens to them in the mid 90s to the early 2000s, I want to hear their older songs, the ones I grew up with. Here are the songs I want to hear Matchbox Twenty sing in their Manila show:
One of their earlier hits, Push was released in 1997 and went on to become a radio hit, back when radio stations still matters. The lyrics of the song is about a man being abused by her woman. Thomas mentioned in a 1997 interview that his former girlfriend was his “inspiration” for writing the song. In the video above, Thomas was full of angst, typical in the videos of the post-grunge era in the mid 90s. As for me, this is one of the songs I used to sing in the karaoke and played on the guitar. Nothing about the abuse thing!
2. Last Beautiful Girl
Some Matchbox Twenty songs never got the attention they deserved. Last Beautiful Girl is one of them.
It never topped the charts. It was never sang by anyone I knew. However, I think it was a great song about a good relationship that turned bad. The guy in the song mentioned that he can’t help but think of “the memory of her face” and all the “promises he never should have believe”. The song’s chorus was gold – “It won’t be the first heart that you break, it won’t be the last, beautiful girl. The one that you wrecked won’t take you back if you were the last beautiful girl”. I used to listen to the song during my teenage years, because of one awkward teenage love that happened during the time. It was painful back then. I laugh about it now.
3. Bright Lights
Bright Lights is one of Matchbox Twenty’s biggest hits. I think it could have been bigger, if the music video was something else, and not the one above. Taken from one of their concerts, we can see the band doing what they love most – singing. But the early 2000s is music video’s last hurrah before reality shows took over MTV. I personally think the band should have made a better video out of the song.
As with most of Matchbox Twenty songs, Bright Lights’ subject is a woman. This particular one left her town to pursue a career somewhere else. She left everything including the singer, who wailed “if all your love is gone, who will save me from all I’m up against out in this world”. He hopes that the girl returns home if the dream she pursued did not “receive” her well.
Rob Thomas said it was probably one of his favorite songs he has ever recorded.
4. If You’re Gone
“If You’re Gone” is about someone who is afraid of relationships. Growing up, it felt like the song is instead about being successful in life and wondering if that success can also be translated to love and marriage.
Disease is a song full of anger, about a man who wants to leave his woman but cannot because of love and passion. In one of the lines in the song, he irked that everything she does is “tragic”, but at the same time being with her is like “magic”. He calls his situation a disease and wants to be free. As for me, this is another karaoke song that I like to sing a lot, and nothing else. Also, the video is gold, one of the band’s greatest.
Matchbox Twenty has grown older. As such, their music has also evolved. It can be felt in their latest album, North and in some of their latest songs, such as “Overjoyed” and “English Town”. In their Manila concert, however, I have a feeling that more of their Filipino fans (who I think are now in their mid 20s to early 30s) would want to hear some of their classic songs – the songs they grew up with. It will be fun nostalgic night.
So what is your favourite Matchbox Twenty song?