So my obsession with 90s music continues with the Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty, who I saw a couple of weeks ago at the Mohegan Sun in Montville, CT. Although both bands kicked ass, I was surprised to find that I enjoyed Matchbox Twenty more than the Goo Goo Dolls. I’ve seen the Goo Goo Dolls before, so I knew they’d be good, but this was the first time I saw Matchbox Twenty. Boy do they sound sick live. Rob Thomas can sing his ass off. Although the Goo Goo Dolls sound good live too, lead singer John Rzeznik changes the way he sings the songs a lot. Matchbox Twenty sounds pretty much exactly the way they sound on their albums.
The Goo Goo Dolls had two major hits during the 90s (“Name” in 1995 and “Iris” in 1998), but Matchbox Twenty sold more albums and were more consistently successful, so it made sense that they were basically the headliners. As was the case when Bush opened for Shinedown back in May at the same arena, the Goo Goo Dolls’ set was shorter, leaving no time for fan favorites such as “Dizzy” and “Big Machine.” They didn’t even perform “Home,” which was the first single from Something For the Rest of Us, their last album before their most current album, Magnetic. I’m not really feeling their newest stuff, including the first single from Magnetic, which is called “Rebel Beat.” I liked how the fans threw black balloons on the stage and John Rzeznik kicked them around during the song “Black Balloon.” There were also some cool visuals on the backdrop, such as stars during one of my favorite songs of theirs, “Better Days.”
Matchbox Twenty had cool cubes that were hanging above them that had lyrics, designs and other visuals that made the stage look awesome. They sound so great live that I couldn’t get into the first single from their latest album, “She’s So Mean,” until I heard it live. The one song that I was disappointed that they didn’t play is the upbeat “Our Song,” which is their latest single. Before getting into “Real World,” which is my favorite song of theirs, Rob said that they were going to take a trip back to 1996, and I thought to myself, half of these songs have already been from 1996! They saved “Push” for the encore, which was appropriate because it was their first big hit.
This night turned out to be the second best concert I’ve ever been to, second only to the first time I saw Bush at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City. I will definitely be seeing both bands again.