By Kirsty L.
TThere are times in life when the reality doesn’t live up to the hype, when the things you look forward to the most are not quite as glossy as the pictures you had painted in your imagination… I often get carried away thinking things will be so perfect that when I actually experience the real thing I have set the bar so high, no one can jump over it…. Luckily, I can confirm that the 2012 Matchbox20 Australian North tour was not one of those times….From the opening bars of Parade, to the final bow, twenty four songs later (and taking his nightly well deserved swig of beer), the boys exceeded my expectations. From their interaction with fans, to the smooth handling of a couple of minor technical difficulties the band showed, once again that they are pure pros.
For those that have seen them many times, the old classics are still there. 3am (takes me straight back to the late 90’s), Real world, Unwell, Bright Lights, Push and If you’re gone (to name a few) and for those newly converted fans, fantastic live versions of Parade, She’s so mean and Put your hands up got people on their feet and shaking their booty. Throughout each show the tempo varied with taking his turn on lead vocals for ‘The Way’ (a beautiul song written by and ), and you could hear a pin drop when sang ‘I will’ (a feat in an auditorium that holds 10,000+ people). Having previously only seen Matchbox play smaller venues in the UK it was a new experience to see them performing to larger crowds. was kept busy during each show moving energetically between guitar, keyboard, percussion and drums..
Each concert was a different experience for me. On night 1 in Brisbane, dedicated a song to my sister and I (thank you to whomever picked me up off the floor at that point and heartfelt thanks to Doucette) and for Brisbane night 2, we were front row and close to the centre which ensured the opportunity for some great close up photos.
On the first night in Sydney I watched the show from further back and the set / lighting were impressive from a distance. It was also a treat to see all of Matchbox and INXS (including talented new lead singer Ciaran Gribbin) take to the stage together to sing ‘Good times’ to close the show. looked so happy to be on stage with one of his favourite bands I thought he may burst (most nights he would come out to watch the last 3 or 4 songs of their set). Night 2 in Sydney was my final show and the icing on the cake… Not only were the audience treated to Matchbox wearing masks (in celebration of Halloween) and Radio live for the first time (dedicated to Team Matchbox), but came and took an Aussie flag from Nicky, Kim and I in the front row (ironic, as I’m British. Thanks Bobby) and wore it for the final encore…Push.
In both Meet and greets I went to the boys were a delight and went to lenghts to put people at ease. One girl (whose name I wish I could remember) was overwhelmed to be meeting them and told she had cherished the moment he had touched one of her fingers last time she saw him live (stay with this story…I promise it is going somewhere) not only did he make sure he held both her hands while she talked to him but I later saw (when watching on a video on youtube) that he went to her in the front row and pressed his entire hand up against hers for a few seconds when he did a walk along the front row of the audience….I’m sure thats something she will remember for a long time and it’s thoughtful acts like that make them special to so many.
I always find I dont want a Matchbox20 concert to end and this time was no exception, front row or back row, the show is worth seeing. For those of you who havent seen it yet, I cannot express how good it is going to be – you have to experience it for yourself. I was lucky enough to meet some special people on this tour (you know who you are) and I look forward to sharing future concert experiences with you, whenever and where ever that may be, until then….
Pictures © Kirsty L.
Thank you Kirsty for your report and pictures!