ST. PETERSBURG — Rob Thomas will perform Friday, July 5, 8 p.m., at The Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg.
Tickets start at $64. Call 727-300-2000 or visit www.themahaffey.com. Abby Anderson will open the show.
The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter is on the road for the first leg of his North American “Chip Tooth Tour,” supporting his fourth solo album, “Chip Tooth Smile.” Debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard Top Album Sales chart, “Chip Tooth Smile” has been met with an outpouring of critical acclaim since its release in May of this year.
The Matchbox Twenty co-founder picks up a thread from his formative years and weaves a bold and bright new chapter on his fourth solo offering. According to a press release from Atlantic Records, the experience earned from over two decades as one of modern music’s preeminent songwriters and front men empowers him to do so.
“I’ve always been a radio kid,” Thomas said. “I grew up listening to all of this music from the late ’70s and early ’80s in the car with my mom. I knew every lyric to every song on the air. There’s a sensibility to the way I write that’s been informed by ’80s songwriters, especially. I feel like I grow each year. Hopefully, that trend will continue until I am ready to stop.”
The new record represents a confluence of firsts for the New York-based artist.
After three tour-packed summers, he took the summer of 2018 off and commenced writing for what would become his latest album. Three years removed since 2015’s “The Great Unknown,” Thomas amassed a career high 60 ideas to be whittled down into the next body of work. All along, there would be no choice but to work with longtime friend Butch Walker behind the board as producer. It notably marked his first collaboration outside of producers Matt Serletic and Steve Lillywhite, but one he admits to manifesting.
“I told everybody that I was going to make a record with Butch before I even called him,” Thomas said. “When I finally did talk to him, I said, ‘Listen, you have to do this, because I told everyone you’re doing it!’”
The duo primarily collaborated “across the miles” with Thomas recording vocals in his New York studio and Walker cutting drums, guitars, keys, bass, and synth “like a band” out of his Santa Monica studio. The musicians would congregate on either coast for one week at a time, often collaborating out of the Atlantic Records studio. Walker and Thomas bonded over a mutual fascination with eighties staples as the producer pushed the singer towards a “live vocal energy.”
Throughout his career, Thomas has consistently made history. He received a rare Diamond Award from the RIAA for Matchbox Twenty’s 12-times-platinum debut “Yourself or Someone Like You.” His 2005 platinum solo debut “Something to Be” went platinum, and its follow-up “Cradlesong” cemented him as the only male artist with multiple No. 1 hits at Adult 40, while he tied P!nk for most No. 1s by a solo artist in the chart’s history.
He also famously teamed up with Santana for 1999’s “Smooth,” which not only earned three Grammy Awards, but also held the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks and spent 58 total weeks on the chart. The song emerged as the No. 1 song in Billboard’s Top Hot 100 Rock Songs chart history. “Smooth” was also declared the all-time No. 1 song on Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs radio airplay chart, the No. 1 song of the rock era based on chart performance on Billboard’s Hot 100 and still holds the spot as the second-most successful song of all time by Billboard.
For further details and ticket information, visit www.robthomasmusic.com.
Abby Anderson is a 22-year-old contemporary country singer/songwriter and native Texan. Her young, soulful sound and sweet, angelic disposition are well-received by audiences young and old.
Anderson has had the opportunity to share the stage with music icons such as Peter Frampton, Lee Greenwood, Angela Johnson and Peter Cetera. She has performed throughout the state of Texas and at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium.