MATCHBOX 20, ALANIS MORISSETTE AND MUTEMATH, E Center, Thursday
The passionate rendition of "Bright Lights" brought the house down during the Matchbox 20 concert at the E Center Thursday night.
The band lead singer Rob Thomas, drummer Ryan McMillan, bassist Brian Yale and guitarists Kyle Cook and Paul Doucette, with a little help from keyboardist and Salt Lake native Matt Beck fired on all cylinders during "Bright Lights."
Thomas' heartfelt delivery while at the piano highlighted the piece as the rest of the band cranked out the accompaniment. And the nearly sold-out audience loved every note and nuance.
In fact, Thursday night's performance could be ranked up among one of the band's best performances.
The set opened with a new song, "How Far We've Come," and slid into another new tune, "If I Fall," both taken off the band's recent release "Exile on Mainstream."
Familiar hits such as "Long Day" and "Bent" were also part of the crisp and celebratory mix.
The show was highlighted by a segmented and mobile LED screen that flashed 3-dimensional videos.
An acoustic segment that featured Doucette on the keyboards and Yale on acoustic guitar included dynamic versions of "If You're Gone" and "Hang."
The band mixed in another older song, "Disease," with some more new songs, "I'll Believe You When," "All Your Reasons" and "These Hard Times."
Each of Cook's solos were executed with precision and the love for music. Doucette, who was once the band's drummer, backed Cook's leads with steady rhythm guitar. And Yale and McMillan laid down a solid foundation for the music and vocals.
Opening the evening was MuteMath. The New Orleans-based band got the audience cheering by playing their own brand of spacey, garage rock. The group upped the ante with a few keyboard handstands that led to the band literally tearing their instruments apart during the final minutes of the set.
Alanis Morissette made her return to Utah with a casual set of her hits. "Hand In My Pocket," "You Oughta Know" and "Ironic" were the musical highlights, but her angst wasn't outwardly expressed. In fact the angry rant of "You Oughta Know" lost a few points of intensity as she casually walked back and forth across the stage and didn't really connect with the audience.
As for "Ironic," well, that song really isn't about irony. All the examples such as "Rain on your wedding day" and "a free ride when you've already paid" are nothing but simple bummers. Still the fans stood and cheered for her and waited for Matchbox 20 to hit the stage.