Matchbox Twenty’s performance Friday night at the sold-out Reno Events Center was two hours of non-stop genius and energy. Matchbox Twenty treated the crowd to hit after hit from the band’s all too short but incredibly successful nearly 12-year history.
A countdown above the stage hyped the restless crowd, making fans more and more unsettled as the seconds ticked off. At zero, the curtain pulled away and the drum beat from “Look How Far We’ve Come” rocked the arena. While the song is energetic on the radio, live it was dynamic.
Throughout the show, animated lead guitarist Kyle Cook, drummer-turned- rhythm guitarist Paul Doucette and bassist Brian Yale, combined with Rob Thomas’ vibrant stage presence, kept the crowd on its feet.
“Tonight we’re not going to think about our jobs,” Thomas told a cheering audience. “We’re not going to think about school. We’re going to celebrate life here in Reno, Nevada.”
And that’s exactly what everyone in the Reno Events Center did until nearly 11 p.m. In addition to other songs, Matchbox Twenty performed the entire track list from 2007’s “Exile on Mainstream,” a compilation of the band’s greatest hits from its previous three albums and six new tracks.
One after another the band cranked out its hits, with fans singing along to the new tracks just as much as the classics. Fans danced to the popish and catchy new release “I’ll Believe You When” and took over on vocals for “3 a.m.” when Thomas put the mic to the crowd.
Matchbox Twenty’s performance showed no signs of wear even though it has been four years since the band toured together. While minus guitarist Adam Gaynor, who left the band in 2005, Matchbox Twenty played as if it was in the glory days of the 1996 debut “Yourself or Someone Like You.”
Kicking off the 7 p.m. show was the self-described electro-alternative rock band MuteMath hailing from New Orleans. The multi-platinum and Grammy award winning Alanis Morissette, who has been rocking the music charts since her angry but genius debut “Jagged Little Pill” in 1995, took the stage an hour later.
Opening with “Uninvited,” Morissette’s vocals were amazingly crisp and clear. She, too, had the audience on its feet and yelling along to the angry “You Oughta Know.” The crowd also took over on vocals for the much softer “Ironic.”
Morissette’s 40-minute performance was vibrant and entertaining to the last second. Plenty of humor was also included when she mocked the popular Fergie song “My Humps.” Later spinning around uncontrollably, Morissette’s stage presence was best described later by Thomas when he called it “badass.”
Upon leaving the Reno Events Center it was hard to imagine the entire four-hour concert was not one of the best to ever hit Reno. If this is Matchbox Twenty’s last tour, it is a shame.