Live at the Garden is a Memphis music tradition that is engrained in the fiber of the city's music scene. If you ask a Memphian what "Live at the Garden" is, most will be able to tell you that it's a dynamic summertime music series held at Memphis Botanic Garden. This weekend, Rob Thomas and the Plain White Ts descended upon The Garden to rock Memphis.
Plain White Ts
The Plain White Ts are one of those bands that just have tons of hit radio singles. Like NEEDTOBREATHE, they aren't necessarily the first band one would think of to listen to on their iPod, but their success is defined very well by the popularity of their singles.
The band started out thanking Memphis for having them. They mentioned they had been to the Birthplace of Rock n' Roll several times, but had never been to Graceland...until today. The band walked the crowd through their visit to the King's mansion and how incredible it was to remember the legend that was Elvis.
The Ts sailed through their album tracks, but the crowd got into the set when they began their radio singles like "1, 2, 3, 4", "Rhythm of Love" and "Hey There Delilah". Talking with the crowd, several of them remarked on how the band members look as though they are in a punk-rock band such as Green Day, but there music is far from that genre.
I enjoyed Plain White Ts set and, based on their history of Memphis shows, would expect to see them again in Memphis very soon.
It takes a special person to be able to create a solo career while being the lead singer of a band...and do both very well, but Rob Thomas takes it all in stride. Rob is the lead singer of Matchbox Twenty and has also created a widely successful solo career with many chart-topping singles that have dominated radio.
Rob started out the night with a challenge to the crowd. " You can either sit at your tables and listen to some music for the next 2 hours and enjoy yourself or, you can get your money worth out of this show, get up, sing, dance and have a great time." The crowd took the challenge.
For the next two hours, Rob Thomas rolled through a set of hits. One audience member stated she knew all but two songs word for word. Rob played his hits "Lonely No More", "Her Diamonds", Matchbox Twenty's "Real World", and did an ode to Memphis with Elvis' "That's Alright".
Rob then brought the mood to a slower pace. He started the slower portion of his set only doing vocals, then moved to the piano. The laid back portion of the set included "Ever the Same", "Someday", Matchbox Twenty's "3AM", and his single from Disney's "Meet the Robinsons", "Little Wonders".
Thomas closed his set out with a bang, walking out into the crowd, standing on a table and doing "Streetcorner Symphony", Back on the stage, he said goodbye to the audience with "Smooth" (his song with "Santana") and "This Is How a Heart Breaks".
It was a lot of fun to see Rob Thomas live. You hear so many of his songs on the radio and never really think about how great of a performer he would be until you have the opportunity to see him in person. 901 Music would recommend seeing both The Plain White Ts and Rob Thomas in concert if you ever have the opportunity. You will not be disappointed.
Photo credits: Tim Simpson Jr.