Rob Thomas Attracts the Cougars

Matchbox Twenty front man brought his solo act to San Jose

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Rob Thomas has a way with the ladies. Never mind that most of them are older than the 37-year-old Matchbox Twenty front man and forget that he is coincidentally married to a model.

Thomas brought his solo act and his cougar swooning ways to the Event Center at San Jose State University Sunday night. And while the two bands opening for the "Smooth" hit maker out dressed and outplayed the headlining act, most of the nearly 4,000 people in attendance didn't appear as if they were at the stadium for the music.

Carolina Liar started the show with a set that last just over 20 minutes. The band's soulsy blues music sounded vibrant in the small basketball stadium and they played their hit songs to perfection.

One fan said she came to the show only to see Carolina Liar because they haven't played any other recent Bay Area shows. But there was only a small crowd in the stadium when the top hat wearing boys played but you could see people in the crowd who were there to support them.

The band probably didn't fit the evening's demographics: older women with helpless men clinging to their arms. Carolina Liar's music has connected with a much younger demographic thanks to surprising features on teen soap dramas such as "90210" and "The Hills."

The pretty boys of One Republic picked up where Carolina Liar left off. The band made their songs sound better live than on their albums. They even used some of their boyish charm to make the old ladies swoon, with a little help from Carolina Liar, with a rendition of Tears for Fears classic "Shout."

Thomas came out to a roaring ovation and quickly delivered a thud of cliche anthems off his latest release "Cradlesong." Somehow his live music sounds eerily similar to several popular 80s songs despite Thomas saying his new album would feature sounds from South America and Africa.


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