Live Review: Matchbox Twenty, Alanis Morissette in Phoenix
Pop-rockers Matchbox Twenty opened their Monday (3/17) performance at Phoenix's Cricket Center with their hit "How Far We've Come," and then proceeded to show the crowd just how far that is.
After kicking off the show with that high-energy track from the band's 2007 greatest hits package, "Exile on Mainstream," lead singer Rob Thomas and company didn't let the adrenaline fade during their nearly two-hour show.
"Are you ready to celebrate life with us in Phoenix?" Thomas asked the near-capacity crowd. "Are you ready, my friends?"
Matchbox Twenty sampled each of its albums, playing "If I Fall" and "Real World" early on. The band--which also includes guitarist Kyle Cook, rhythm guitarist Paul Doucette and drummer Brian Yale--paid tribute to Doucette's songwriting skills by performing "Could I Be You" from 2002's "More Than You Think You Are."
While introducing the song "Disease," Thomas flubbed his lines, laughed and said, "You know what that means?" Apparently it meant he had to play a whimsical song on the piano, accompanied by the rest of the band, while the venue's video screen displayed the words "Oops, they just messed up." Apparently, such mistakes are frequent.
"I totally just screwed everything up," Thomas said. "I still feel very good though. You're not going to take that away from me."
The staging was simple. Before the opening number, four strips of video screens came together to form a background for a television screen that aired footage of an astronaut arriving on an unknown planet. As the astronaut faded to white noise, the video screens lifted and moved toward the back of the stage to reveal a back-lit Matchbox Twenty.
Seven-time Grammy winner Alanis Morissette and her five-piece band introduced fans to her forthcoming album, "Flavors of Entanglement," by performing the title track as well as "Citizen of the Planet," a hard-driving song that is a departure for the singer. During her hour-long set, she immersed herself in her immense vocal range on tracks such as the moody "Uninvited," and mixed up her hits a bit, playing a funk-inspired rendition of "All I Really Want" and a melancholy, twinkling "Hand in My Pocket."
Morissette showed a strong command of the stage, using modern dance techniques to spice up the opening number, "Uninvited," and aggressively crisscrossing the stage like an animal stalking its prey during "You Oughta Know." On the flip side, she grinned as if she was in on a joke during the song "You Learn." Her vocals were as immaculate as Thomas'.
Known for her arena-rock anthems, Morissette showed her lighter side with a cover of the Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps," the video for which became a YouTube favorite last year. Wrapped in a neon pink boa, she was surrounded by her sunglasses-wearing bandmates who threw dollar bills at her--before she clocked them.
Fan participation was big with Morissette. She pretty much let the audience sing "Ironic" for her, except when she changed the lyrics from "It's meeting the man of my dreams /
And then meeting his beautiful wife" to "It's meeting the man of my dreams / And then meeting his beautiful ... husband."
Piano-laden Mute Math opened the show with 30 minutes of controlled chaos. After playing a handful of songs from its 2006 self-titled album, including the hit "Typical," the New Orleans band ended its set with a Stomp-like drum performance. Afterward, they destroyed the kit.