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Tonight was night two of two on my Matchbox Twenty Extravagnaza, thus named because tonight marked my twentieth Matchbox Twenty/Rob Thomas show. Which is not actually that many shows, but you have to keep in mind that (a) they do not tour that often, (b) this is a span of time during which I was ages sixteen to twenty-eight, which are tragically not prime 'travel long distances to concerts while remaining fiscally responsible' years, and (c) they took a goddamn ten year break between albums three and four I don't even want to talk about the fact I only got one Matchbox Twenty album in my entire twenties I mean really.

Nonetheless! I have now seen Rob and/or Matchbox Twenty, twenty times. I've been a fan of the band since I was fifteen years old -- ongoing, non-stop, they have always been my favorite band. They're not "fannish," in the sense that there is no Matchbox Twenty fandom, but my love of them is certainly as intense as any fannish affection I've ever have, and yet whereas every fannish love I've had has waned fairly quickly (after one to two years at most, a month or so at shortest), I've felt this level of affection for Matchbox for thirteen years and counting.

This isn't of course to say that I don't still love some of the things I was once fannish about -- I mean, I still like The X Files. But it took a long time before I could watch it again after it ended. The same is true of Fall Out Boy: it was a long time after I left bandom before I could listen to bandom music, and ultimately the only artists that survived the cut were Fall Out Boy and Cobra Starship. I'd never go see any of those bands live again, though. And then there's the shows I was fannish about and don't survive or net a rewatch, like Smallville or (I feel like I should tell people to cover their ears here) Buffy.

Sometimes I genuinely wonder if fandom improves or hinders the experience of text. There are many, many people who would argue that you should never study the literature you genuinely "adore" because it ruins it; more and more I think that's true of fandom. Sometimes I think that just means I am Getting Old (kids today get off my lawn), but driving back from the Matchbox Twenty concert my friend and I were brainstorming potential wank Tumblr would create in an imagined Matchbox Twenty fandom, and my god by the time we were done even the imaginary fandom had made me want to listen to something other than "North." It also made me want Tabitha's Secret-era Rob/Paul fic but we're not going to focus on that part right now shh.

Then again, it's possible there are different kinds of affection when it comes to the things we love. Maybe fannish love is different for me than "true love," or maybe they just became a part of me at such a point in my life that I've stuck them in emotional bubble wrap, and Rob Thomas could kill a man and I'd just shrug and get a tarp and some borax. Or maybe I'm looking for an excuse to delete my tumblr. At any rate, I realized tonight that this is very likely the last Matchbox Twenty show I will see in my twenties, which made me feel horrifically old and also made me realize just how intense that hiatus business actually was. Dear Matchbox Twenty don't do that again.

In conclusion, I did buy the USB so in the next few days I'll upload both shows to my web space.  We got two fucking amazing set lists, including "You're So Real," "All I Need," "All Your Reasons," "How Long," "Mad Season," "Jumping Jack Flash," and "Waiting On a Train."  The last one leads me to believe I have some sort of untapped psychic ability, as I told my friend while we got drinks before the show that if I could choose any song for them to play it would be that one, but it's a B-side from Europe and I strongly suspected that wasn't exactly going to make the American cut.  And lo!  When the music started she smacked me and told me I should've used my powers to get "Busted," which is fair.  I WILL one day achieve that song.  ONE DAY.


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