Live Review: Rob Thomas, Pete Murray

22 February 2016 | 12:10 pm | Michael Prebeg

"Thomas continues with a happy little ditty about death called Getting Late before launching into a cover of David Bowie's Let's Dance."

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Pete Murray does a great job of warming us up with some of his best-known acoustic tunes to soothe our souls before the main event. He's charismatic and really knows how to work the crowd and let's all the men know who he is as he cheekily assumes their wives already know. 

The one and only Rob Thomas immediately turns heads with his commanding stage presence and strong, passionate vocals. "We may feel lonely later on and tomorrow, but we have this one night together," he declares. We give ourselves over to have a great time and celebrate life by listening to his music as the comforting Lonely No More strikes up.

Thomas has been coming to Australia for 20 years and he feels lucky that it's like another home to him. Because of his close mateship with us he feels comfortable enough to ask what the heck is up with Neighbours as he jokingly acknowledges that nothing ever happens. Thomas continues with a happy little ditty about death called Getting Late before launching into a cover of David Bowie's Let's Dance. The fantastic tribute brings on some serious rock'n'roll knee bends and microphone stand swings while his band take the reins and tear it up with a phenomenal instrumental of crashing electric guitars.

He's not just here for shits and giggles (even though he's a fan of them) and reminds us he recently just put out a new album before getting into one of its tracks, I Think We'd Feel Good Together. He announces that it's the first time they've ever played the next track (Lie To Me) in front of an audience, but assures us that doesn't mean they are going to stuff it up. It's a great live performance and they break it down with some audience participation on the last chorus. Another new track Hold On Forever sounds like candy tastes and his forthcoming emotional single, Pieces, calls on mobile phones to light up the arena given it's a ballad.

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Thomas introduces us to his alter ego as the lead singer of "the greatest band in the world - Matchbox 20". A piano emerges on stage but an unfortunate technical glitch stalls the song. He passes some time until the buzz in his earpiece disappears by singing us an improvised conversational piece with a heartfelt plea to his crew to fix it. After some quick thinking on his feet, Thomas overcomes the situation by picking up his acoustic guitar and taking us off the grid with Bent. Things finally get back on track and he resumes his position behind the piano for 3am.

Smooth lightens the mood and he runs into the crowd to get up close and personal for This Is How A Heart Breaks before sending paper aeroplanes of setlists shooting out above our heads and finishing on a high.