Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas talks about Tulsa tour stop, Super Bowl
BY JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
1/30/13 at 3:40 AM
Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas paused to chat before his sold-out concert Tuesday night at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
The local show kicks off a string of sold-out American dates, and he and his band spent the past five days here rehearsing and readying not only a tour but also a Sunday Super Bowl pre-show performance, he said.
After a few shows in Australia late last year, the band is ready to go prime time, he said.
"Reaction to everything so far has been really, just amazing," he said as he pulled off a leather coat and sank into an oversized leather chair. "It's not enough to just give fans all our old stuff. We play new and old. When we wrote for this album, we always had the live show in mind, so things translate with a lot of energy."
"North" is the band's first fully new studio release in more than a decade. It debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top 200 album chart when it was released last August.
Thomas often takes his energy into sets that last up to two hours. And this time, the set will include newbie drummer (and longtime friend) Stacy Jones on drums. Jones, a Tulsan, has performed off-and-on with Thomas and other acts for 17 years, he said.
Thomas is pumped for the Super Bowl, but not for the same reasons as most.
"I don't follow the game. I just ... don't. But I'll go. For me, it's a Beyonce concert wrapped in a sporting event. My friends would kill me if I didn't go."
As for why the band has spent so much time in Green Country this week, Danny Finnerty, director of entertainment for the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, said the venue is a natural fit.
Four trucks filled the parking lots. Add in six buses, roadies and gear. It's all here, ready for the Matchbox Twenty tour.
Bands including Joe Walsh and Kenny Rogers have readied tours while here, Finnerty said. Others, including Brian Setzer, Sammy Hagar, Dwight Yoakam, Hall & Oates and Paul Rodgers all vie for annual gigs at the state-of-the-art, 2,700 seat venue. The Matchbox Twenty date sold out in one day, he added.
"It's a culture and atmosphere. It's the room itself. It's our crew," Finnerty said.
"We don't always have a say on where we perform," he said. The band's management works out most of those kinks. "But this place has really been perfect for everything. This is great fun. It's a surreal way to kick off the next year of touring."
The band also plays Friday at WinStar Casino in Thackerville before heading to New Orleans for the Super Bowl, where the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers kick off at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
Thomas is setting out to prove that tailgating can be as fun as the game itself, when Matchbox Twenty will join bands including OneRepublic at the Super Bowl preparty. Both bands perform as part of the pregame show, and segments will be aired on "Super Bowl Today," from 1 to 5:25 p.m. on CBS.
Beyonce will perform during halftime, with likely guests including Jay-Z and a reunited Destiny's Child. Alicia Keys will sing the national anthem before the game.
Original Print Headline: Tulsa is big tour's kickoff
Jennifer Chancellor 918-581-8346
Paul Doucette (left) and Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty kick off a tour in Tulsa on Tuesday. CHARLES SYKES / Invision / AP