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Review: Matchbox 20, Goo Goo Dolls bring the hits

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Have you heard Matchbox 20's latest album? Neither have a lot of people. That's why no one in the audience at the Charleston Civic Center Wednesday complained when the rock band played hit after hit from the 1990s and early 2000s.

The crowd, which by the time the band took the stage had filled most of the entire arena with the exception of the nosebleed sections, seemed to really enjoy themselves.

Until you hear Matchbox 20 play them one after another, you might forget how many great top 40 hits they have.

They opened with a song I didn't recognize, but then got right to a classic, "Bent."

Along with a few songs from "North," the band's newest CD which released last fall, the show was nearly an hour and a half of songs from its 1996 debut album "Yourself or someone like you," 2000's "Mad Season" and their 2002 album "More than you think you are."

Songs "Real World," "Long Day," "3 a.m.," "Disease," "If you're gone," "Unwell," "Bright lights," and "How Far We've Come," were all crowd-pleasers.

Front man Rob Thomas's expressive eyes and boyish good looks make him fun to watch. That's not to mention the man's energy, which was constant throughout the more than 15 songs.

No one was fooled when the band left the stage shortly before 11 p.m. before singing two of its biggest hits, "Push," and "Back to good." They stood back and let the crowd beg a little, returning to stage after a couple minutes when the crowd's thunderous stomping and screams filled the room. Besides the two hits, the band's encore also featured a cover of the Rolling Stones" "Jumping Jack Flash."

Those who came in after show opener Kate Earl missed some great songs, especially "One Woman Army."

In true rock 'n' roll form, the show's co-headliners the Goo Goo Dolls started their set with so many flashing lights I was briefly concerned for the epileptic population in the audience.

The band, led by front man Johnny Rzeznik, also played many of their hits including "Slide," "Black balloon," "Iris," and "Broadway" from their 1998 release, "Dizzy Up the Girl," and "Name" from the 1995 album "A Boy Named Goo." The band's latest album, "Magnetic," released in June.

Overall, the Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox 20 were just as fantastic as I remember from my middle school and high school days.

Reach Lori Kersey at lori.kersey@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.


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