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f28 Music Media got exclusive coverage of Rob Thomas’s “Chip Tooth” tour stop at the Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh NC on 07/11/2019. Before we get into his awesome performance and concert highlights lets back track a little in case some of you have lived under a rock the last two decades. ;)
Rob Thomas is the lead singer, co-writer and producer of Matchbox Twenty. Matchbox Twenty formed in the mid 1990’s and released their debut album in 1996. They have put out 4 studio albums and have sold over 30 million records. Matchbox Twenty is one of the most respected and influential rock bands of the last two decades. Chris (lead photographer and editor) got the chance to cover them a few years ago during their tour stop in Raleigh NC at the Walnut Creek. Now this is an incredible feet for any band to be that influential but Rob Thomas said “hold my beer” I got some more music in me. Matchbox Twenty took a non permanent hiatus and Rob Thomas began writing music for his solo album which was released on April 5th 2005 called “Something to be”. This album peaked at #1 on the billboard charts and since then Rob has released a total of 3 solo records with his albums going multi platinum and or certified gold. He has had hits songs such as “Someday”, “This is how a heart breaks”, “Her Diamonds” and many more. Rob is still a part of Matchbox Twenty so don’t think they are done but Rob Thomas is currently touring to support his latest release “Chip Tooth”.

Now lets talk about the concert in Raleigh NC at the Red Hat Amphitheater. If you have never been to this particular venue it is an outdoor stage that seats about 7 or 8000 people, so weather always has a chance to swoop in and cause chaos. The start of the day was beautiful but by around 5:00pm we had a thunderstorm come into the Raleigh area. I arrived at the venue around 6:30pm and saw people starting to leave the venue per Live Nations request due to lightening being seen in the area. During that time I could see lightening from a distance and it started to rain but luckily after a delay the storm started to pass and the show was able to go on. Once they opened the gate people rushed in with excitement and you could hear fans talking about how excited they were to see Rob Thomas live.

After I entered the gate I walked towards the pit. I showed my credentials and then waited for Rob Thomas to hit the stage. It was still wet from the rain but fans were getting to their seats and you could see their excitement. One fan came up to me and said “I love Rob Thomas he is really talented. Have you ever photographed him before?” I told the fan, yes and we talked a little bit about Rob’s music and his relatable and impactful lyrics. It was nice talking with fans and getting their perspective and hearing how the artist or band has meant so much to them. It is always great to hear that. One of my favorite parts of covering these live performances is caputring music history in the making for fans to re-live these important memories through powerful photographs.
— Chris Sturk

Rob Thomas’s performance was filled with passion, humor and the occasional story behind the music. At one point the lead guitarist with him on stage accidentally hit the wrong pedal and the wrong sounds came out of the guitar. Rob said to the fans and the guitarist “what is that!? I think you hit the wrong pedal, did you mean to hit this one?” The right sound comes on and the guitarist and Rob are laughing. “There we go! That is the right sound, its OK everyone fuck up’s happen. It’s ok to have fuck ups.” The crowd went wild and started laughing and screaming even louder. Robs performance was powerful and engaging. He never once took his eyes of the fans and brought them into each song as if they were the back up singers for a new live record. He played a mixture of old hits and threw in a few matchbox twenty songs as well but for us one of the biggest moments was hearing him perform his latest song called “One Less Day (Dying Young) from the “Chip Tooth” album. You could see fans hug each other and embrace the lyrics and really relate to his performance.

One less day was a song that I was looking forward to hearing him perform. I am getting older and the lyrics are something I myself can relate to and the way the music was created around his passionate words really makes this song one of the best songs to come out in 2019. He knocked this one out of the park and I think fans that night felt the same way.
— Chris Sturk

In the end Rob Thomas is a very humble and passionate performer with a history of bringing his musical creations to the fans who come and see him live. I saw fans embracing, couples dancing and pure excitement from people singing and yelling along with every lyric Rob sang that night. If you get the chance to see him live during this tour we recommend you don’t miss out, and just in case bring a rain coat. :)



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Article and images by Chris Sturk. Copyrighted under U.S copyright laws.