KINGS PARK & BOTANIC GARDEN
Photos by Dana Weeks
(FB: @danaweeksphotography, IG: dana_weeks)
It was a thrill for me to head over to Kings Park & Botanic Garden for Rob Thomas on Saturday, November 23rd. I’ve been a big fan of Matchbox Twenty and himself for years, and I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to see this man do his thing. After seeing this show it was clear to me that Rob Thomas is one of the most passionate performers on Earth.
The show opened up with Jamilla, a local Perth RNB artist. She’s on her ‘BOLD’ Australian tour, and this was her stop in Perth at the tail end. She has a wonderful voice and it was a real nice way to open the days proceedings.
Out next was Russell Morris, and I was surprised and probably hadn’t read the lineup properly, as I thought Pete Murray was next. ‘The Real Thing’ really turned it up to 11 with his set. Russell was a real treat, he speaks to the crowd so well and has all these great stories. It was very engaging! He ended the set with ‘The Real Thing’ and I remarked to my +1 for the occasion (my Mum) and said ‘Isn’t it funny how somebody has a storied long career as a singer/songwriter and your most memorable lyrics are jibberish’. Ooh mow ma-mow mow. It’s a cracking track.
Pete Murray hit the stage for our second last performance of the proceedings and I had never seen Pete before and had never really been interested, but by the end of his set I had a newfound respect for the man. He too was great with the audience, remarking the smell of marijuana in the air, and then later on he started playing a song in the wrong key and stopped abruptly to say something along the lines of ‘Woooops, that’s in the wrong key. I think the second hand marijuana smoke is to blame.’ Great stuff. He played all his classics, he’s got a soothing voice and he’s excellent at what he does.
Finally the moment we had all been waiting for arrived! Rob Thomas hit the stage. The set began with ‘I Love It’, ‘Real World ’09’ and ‘Lonely No More’ which blew the roof off the place. Rob was sweating profusely, and it was only early on and it wasn’t hot at all!
One thing I’ll say about Rob is through watching him perform i thought to myself.. you know what, there’s a reason this guy got to where he got to. He’s a performer of such a high level. He’s always moving around, he doesn’t just sing his songs, he performs his songs. He puts every ounce of emotion he has into every second of the show.
‘Her Diamonds’ was next followed by our first Matchbox Twenty song of the night ‘If You’re Gone’ which was really awesome but it was arranged a little differently that the original version. Which was a running theme with all the MB20 songs on the show. The arrangements were different, and it was a little disappointing for me because I wanted to ‘go off’ but when these songs are turned into slower more acoustic versions, that feeling was hard to muster. It was still awesome, don’t get me wrong, and I should realize this isn’t a MB20 concert.
‘Getting Late’, ‘Can’t Help Me Now’, ‘Streetcorner Symphony’ and ‘One Less Day’ filled the middle of the set, before ‘Little Wonders’ and ‘Fire On The Mountain’. I really wanted the set to pick up from here and thankfully it did, because Rob and his band performed a sensational rendition of David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ before ‘Push’ and ‘3A.M’ which as stated before, were arranged a bit differently. ‘Ever The Same’, ‘I Am An Illusion’ (a highlight of the show to be honest) as well as ‘Something To Be’ filled the rest of the set out before the final 3 – ‘Unwell’ which thankfully was played the normal way, followed by the amazing ‘Smooth’ and finishing off with a bang with ‘This Is How A Heart Breaks’. A really strong finish to a wonderful show. Did I want more Matchbox Twenty songs? Oh hell yeah. But this show was about Rob as a solo artist. I had an amazing evening with my beloved mother and it’s all thanks to Rob Thomas.