Picture a beautiful South Florida evening in West Palm Beach with palm trees gently swaying in the warm breeze. An amazing night to be at the Perfect Vodka (or now again called Coral Sky) Amphitheater to partake in A Brief History of Everything Tour featuring Counting Crows and Matchbox Twenty.
For the first time that I can remember in quite a while, the amphitheater was almost at full capacity before one of the headliners arrived on stage. Usually it’s at the halfway mark that most people arrive, but last night was different. Following a brief performance by Rivers and Rust (with Matchbox Twenty member Kyle Cook), the crowd was ready and anticipating the opening of the Counting Crow’s set and they did not disappoint. Adam Duritz opened with Hard Candy, Omaha, Dislocation and Colorblind to the cheers and whistles of an appreciative audience. The band was truly giving us a show. The amazing light displays were in rhythm to the music, like absolute punctuation to the sounds and lyrics. The band played much of their standard fare to the delight of the dancing, cheering crowd. Ending it strong with fan-favorites of Taxi, Round Here and an amazing encore of Palisades Park and Rain King. While the crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy Duritz’s expressiveness and the bands exquisite finale, it was a little disappointing to not hear their anthem Mr. Jones.
Now, with the crowd fully ramped up and ready, Matchbox Twenty took the stage, opening strong with Real World. I have to say Rob Thomas is a real showman, he loves performing and playing to the crowd. He broke into Girl Like That amidst screams of cheers that had everyone on their feet singing and dancing. The band was going to be high energy for the rest of the night and the crowd loved it. Combing the light displays, the rock-star like theatrics, the easy banter Thomas had with his fans, altogether it made for an incredible show. During Mad Season, Thomas thrilled the crowd closest to the pit as he sat on the edge of the stage singing, then swung around and laid backwards into them. The instrumentals were pure joy to listen to as we got solos from Stacy Jones on drums and Kyle Cook on lead guitar. At one point he took a breathless girl’s phone to do a selfie with her, then continued to record himself, the band, the audience as he sang directly into her camera! (I think we may be seeing that show up somewhere in internet-land soon.) That girl will cherish that moment forever!
As Thomas worked the audience, belting out Radio, So Sad So Lonely, Hang, Unwell, Back 2 Good and a stunning ending with Push, the crowd had not sat down in quite a while and made noise for what you knew was going to be quite the encore performance. Of course Matchbox Twenty did not disappoint, bringing the house down with 3 A.M., Long Day and Bright Lights. Those of you hungry for more from them, it turns out that word on the street is that there may be a new album and a possible world tour for 2018.
So, on a beautiful night in South Florida, in gorgeous West Palm Beach, people got a show to remember for a long time to come. This was one show will live in the hearts of fans of both Counting Crows and Matchbox Twenty forever.