Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20 are touring with the Goo, Goo Dolls.

Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20 are touring with the Goo, Goo Dolls.

Rob Thomas and his group Matchbox 20 paired with The Goo Goo Dolls may well be the tour of the summer. We caught them two weeks ago at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in upstate New York. Both have recently released new music that is rock perfection.

The Dolls, who we’ve loved for years (remember their “Iris” from the 1998 movie “City of Angels?”) have just released a new album, Magnetic, and its simply terrific; especially their lead single “Rebel Beat.”

Thomas, who we’ve also admired for years, both as a writer and singer, literally tore up the stage. He delivered just a brilliant performance, highlighted by several tunes from their current album North.

They also performed such MB20 chestnuts as “Bent,” “Unwell” and “How Far We’ve Come.” The mostly college-age crowd was captivated by Thomas and his band. As far as I’m concerned, this is the tour of the summer. Face it: Thomas literally saved pop music this decade. Bravo!

Imagine Dragons Latest Universal/Republic Jewel

Imagine Dragons’ new album Night Visions is another jewel unearthed by Universal/Republic Records. The record industry mavericks up there have continually released some of the most creative, interesting, and forward-sounding music this year.

Monsters And Men, another release earlier this year was simply sensational. Night Visions, while perhaps not as adventurous as the Icelandic-based OMAM, is again, simply marvelously creative.

Highlighted by the tracks, “Bleeding Out” and, the current single “Radioactive,” it’s bold music by a bold new aggregation. The band formed in Las Vegas in 2008 when lead singer Dan Reynolds met guitarist Wayne “Wing Sermon in Utah.

Reynolds was attending school and Sermon had recently returned to his hometown of American Fork, Utah, from the Berklee School of Music. Soon after, Sermon recruited another Berklee music student, Ben McKee.

We also loved the tracks “Nothing Left To Say” and “On Top of The World.” A very, very pleasant surprise. You will not be disappointed.

Lou Reed Still Walking on Wild Side

Lou Reed underwent a liver transplant several weeks back. We were shocked to hear this, but wish him (and, wife Laurie Anderson) all the best.

We’ve loved him for years and we well remember our Lou Reed moment when we found him, and Laurie, sitting directly in back of us at a movie screening. I was stunned into silence, but looked him right and the eye and gave him the all-knowing nod.

Know what happened: He did the same thing right back to me. I’ll never forget it.

Names In The News

Jacqueline Ruth, Nicholas Lampiasi, Marisa Bianco, Chelsea Northern, David Salidor, James Edstrom, Chris Gilman, Dave Novik, Adam Pollack, Randy Alexander, Chris Gentry, Brandon D’Amore, Peter Abraham, Mark Strickland, Paul Wontorek, Ellis Nassour, David & Delia Jones