When Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty sings, everyone listens. When Rob Thomas and Kyle Cook of Matchbox Twenty verbally riff on stage, everyone laughs. Seriously, who knew these guys were so down to earth, self-effacing, humble and hilarious?Â They gave guests and media quite a show to remember last Friday afternoon (yes, some people may or may not have been playing hooky) at The Hamilton Live thanks to 94.7 FRESH FM and The Tommy Show’s Tommy McFly, Kelly Collis and Jen Richer.
The first time I met Rob Thomas, you could still smoke in DC, it was that long ago.Â My friend and I were sitting at a table at Cafe Milano late at night and she leaned over to me and in her best ventriloquist imitation minus the dummy, she asked if that was Rob Thomas sitting next to us. Through the haze of cigarette puffs, dim lighting and late night haze (read: too many drinks), I turned my head ever so slightly for a peek.Â Why yes, yes it was Rob Thomas. The handsome guy-next-door that headed the popular band Matchbox Twenty and who happened to be married to some gorgeous woman with whom he was sooo famously in love.Â And she, Marisol, was sitting with him.Â Rob asked for cigarettes. We gave him a few.Â We looked at each other and said, “Are you Rob Thomas?” And so, the rest is history. We ended up talking with the singer/songwriter and his wife.Â A few tables down sat a legendary producer, Quincy Jones, and my friend and I happened to know the group at the table and Mr. Jones.Â Rob was beside himself, he’d never met Quincy Jones, so we brought him over to the table for an introduction.Â Mr. Jones, I don’t think had heard of Matchbox Twenty at the time, probably not at the forefront of his generation’s favorite genre, but being one who appreciates talent and industry professionals, he kindly obliged us all, especially Rob, who was so appreciative.
A few years later, we met again at a Gibson Guitar private show held by another radio station, and I reminded Rob of the initial meeting, which he laughed about while remembering.Â And so Friday, while this time, I had no opportunity to say, HEY REMEMBER US? because they were on stage and audience members had no chance to engage one on one with them, I did have a good chuckle with my friend recalling the random first introduction.Â Needless to say, the acoustic performance with humor, anecdotes, Q&A peppered in, was beautifully done. Rob and Kyle loved the venue, claiming it was so pretty they would want to play all day.
DC was the last city to hit during their month long US promo tour (before they head to London) for their latest album, North, which is the band’s first studio album released since 2007.Â The first single, “She’s So Mean” is all over the radio now and the song with which they opened on Friday. After, they sang oldies but goodies like “Push”, “Bent”, “Disease” and more. Telling the story of each before the opening note made the experience especially unique, as well as their chatting of other songwriters and musicians whom they admire.
A special thanks goes to Tommy, Kelly, and Jen and the folks at The Hamilton. North is available now.
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a platform for profiling people who "make it happen" in the Capital region, reviews & topical blog posts. She launched Punch Enterprises, a connector consulting business in 2015 and Pacific Punch based in LA, in 2012. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, VA. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.