Twenty years of hitting the road and huddling inside recording studios to craft rock-meets-pop material has yet to slow down the spinning wheels of Matchbox Twenty.
Known for the songs and accompanying music videos for "3 A.M.," "Bent," "Push," "Real World" and "If You're Gone," as well as the early 1999 hit by Carlos Santana and Matchbox Twenty vocalist Rob Thomas, "Smooth," the members of Matchbox Twenty, if one goes by the group's concert Aug. 7 at the Walmart AMP in Rogers, look and sound as if they are far from tapping on the brakes of their tour bus.
Logan Jackson, a 38-year-old fan who drove from Little Rock to attend the concert, enjoyed the evening's previous set by Counting Crows, but it was Matchbox Twenty's 90-minute headlining slot that hit the most winning notes.
"I can't believe the energy Matchbox Twenty has right now," he said about five songs into Matchbox Twenty's set. "They came out swinging with the first song, 'Real World,' and just aren't letting up.
"I saw Matchbox Twenty back in 1997 or so, and I have to say, I think tonight's show might be even better than that first show I attended," Jackson added while glancing back at the stage. "How are they maintaining that energy? They've been doing this for 20 years now."
Melanie Reid of Fort Smith also was taken aback by how inspired the musicians sounded. The 50-year-old concert goer said she attends about a dozen shows a year because she would rather listen to music in a live setting than on an electronic device.
"The music is really good tonight," Reid said. "I thought Counting Crows sounded all right, too, although the tempos of their songs seemed to drag just a little when they started playing.
"And it's kind of strange that Counting Crows didn't play 'Mr. Jones' tonight, but it's a good night with good weather," she said. "No one can really complain."
Jennifer Wilson, public relations director for the Walmart AMP, called the concert another success, both for the venue and for those who appreciate live performances.
"We sold just over 9,500 tickets for the show, and there were about 9,000 people in the venue," she said. "It was a great show and a perfect way to top off our first three-show concert run at the AMP.
"Both bands are still very popular after being on the music scene for several decades, and they didn’t disappoint," Wilson added. "The crowd, which included young and old, really seemed to enjoy the show."
Reid said she is also excited about the upcoming concerts that will take place at Temple Live, 200 N. 11th St. Among the artists coming to Temple Live will be Joe Nichols and Jesse Joice (Aug. 25), Charlie Daniels Band (Sept. 29), Dwight Yoakam (Oct. 1) and Willie Nelson (Nov. 16); tickets can be purchased at www.templelive.com.
"It's really cool that people like Willie Nelson are coming to the Fort," Reid said. "It's places like Temple Live and the Walmart AMP that prove live music isn't going away."