Rob Thomas Ends Youngstown Foundation Ampitheatre’s Debut Concert Season

Photo courtesy of Jim Trocchio

By Cailey Barnhart

Warm weather greeted concert goers as Rob Thomas ended the national concert season at the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre on Sept. 5, bringing along Chris Trapper and Max Frost on his Chip Tooth Tour.

The singer spent time introducing his band and stressing the importance the members bring to the show, giving each member a solo highlight on their instrument.

Trapper, who is most known for his songs “Avalanche” and “This Time” from the 2007 film “August Rush,” opened the show with just an acoustic guitar. He now performs folk-rock, but he started his career in The Push Stars, a ‘90s rock band. 

Frost is a singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist. He describes his set as a “concert meets science project.”

Frost recently headlined his Gold Rush Tour, which celebrated his first album, “Gold Rush.” He also opened for twenty one pilots on their sold-out Bandito Tour. 

But before opening for twenty one pilots, Frost replaced ARIZONA on a handful of dates during Panic! At The Disco’s latest arena tour. 

“It was amazing. Panic! At The Disco was my little practice run; I only did three shows,” he said. “I think it really prepared me for the twenty one pilots shows because it gave me arena experience before just going out on a full tour.” 

Photo by Cailey Barnhart

Thomas opened the show with “I Love It” and then performed 20 more songs. His set list included his most recent single, “One Less Day (Dying Young),” as well as songs from his solo albums, Matchbox Twenty hits and even a cover of “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie to get the crowd excited. 

Thomas first found success with Matchbox Twenty in 1996 with their debut album “Yourself or Someone Like You.” The band never officially split up but went on hiatus in 2004 to allow members to pursue other projects. It was during this hiatus that Thomas released his first solo record, “Something to Be.”

During his performance of Matchbox Twenty’s hit “If You’re Gone,” Thomas made an announcement that prompted a round of applause from the audience: “I will see you next year when I hit the road with Matchbox Twenty.”

Thomas described the phenomenon of being a rock star and then stepping off stage and returning to normalcy. 

“I’m onstage with Matchbox [Twenty] and we play this arena show, and I feel like a rock star — like I’m 11 feet tall,” he said. “Then I walk off the stage, immediately get on the bus and I have to walk my dog in the rain.” 

Now, I want you to understand these two different mindsets,” he added. “I’m onstage, 11 feet tall, all sweaty and stuff.  I run to the bus, go off and grab a poop bag so I can go and take my dog out in the rain.”

Thomas said it was this story that made him realize this walk was his dog’s “rock star moment” and inspired him to write “Little Wonders” for the Disney film “Meet the Robinsons.”

“I used to sing his songs to my daughter when she was 5 years old,” said YSU alumna, Dawn Wrask, about Thomas’s music. “We came to the concert tonight, and [my daughter] is now 25 — talk about the best gift to this mom! Thanks Rob Thomas and his great band.”

The Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre will have one more free show Friday, Sept. 13, featuring Disco Inferno before officially closing for the season.