July 31, 2014 Everlast captures The Suffolk Theater Riverhead, NY 7-24-14
To some he is Whitey Ford, to others he is Everlast, but whatever else you want to call him, call him a great musician and entertainer. Hailing from Hempstead Long Island, Everlast, whose real name is Erick Schrody, has been entertaining musical crowds of all ages and genres since the early 1990’s. Most people know him for the famous song “Jump Around” from his days with seminal hip hop group, House of Pain. After suffering a major heart attack in the late 1990’s Everlast certainly slowed down, changed his perspective on life, and picked up his guitar to write in a different style. His solid musical skills and gorgeous raspy voice were on full display on Thursday July 24th at the newly renovated Suffolk Theater out on the east end in Riverhead, NY.
Hitting the stage dressed in his usual hip hop attire, Everlast and keyboardist Brian Velasco came out to play a completely stripped down set. The bare bones renditions of his songs performed with just guitar and keyboards led to an intricate and almost personal view of the struggles Everlast has gone through. Looking out into the crowd he opened with the tone setting “Broken”. The audience was engaged immediately by his sincere vocal delivery. Up next was “Little Miss America” conveying feelings that are universal to many during everyday life. Reaching back into his bag he played “Black Jesus” showing he can rap, sing, and strum his guitar at the same time.
Keeping the mood relaxed, Everlast then conveyed his political side and touched upon the issues occurring in the Middle East. Clearly concerned with social problems in the world he offered up a brand new track he had written the night prior regarding the conflict in Gaza titled “Gaza City Blues”. Exciting and thought-provoking this peek into the artists psyche was quite insightful. That was followed directly by crowd favorite “Love For Real” where the crowd chanted along with the chorus. Heading back to some current issues in the Middle East he played the track “Stone in My Hand”. Brightening the darker mood of these topics pieces, Everlast jumped into a raucous cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”. A classic in its own right, every single person in the audience knew all the words and thoroughly enjoyed hearing Everlast rock it out. Applauding generously the somber tone of Everlast came forward again with the song “Lonely Road”. Engaging everyone to sing-along the room responded promptly by vocalizing the chorus loudly and on point.
After a brief crowd chant for an encore, Everlast came back on stage to play a few more songs. Leading off with a cover of John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero” fans were locked-in and mesmerized by the heartfelt singing. Keeping the crowd on their toes another sing-along came with “Long Time”. Everyone sang the chorus as Everlast stepped back from the microphone letting the crowd take over and absorbed the moment. Next up was hip hop laced “Ends”, a groove track that showed his important hip hop influence that everyone adores. That led into a tremendous close with arguably his most famous solo song “What It’s Like” which pleased the audience thoroughly with everyone on their feet participating and smiling.
This was a night filled with Everlasts’ personal ups and downs vividly conveyed through song. His guitar playing, voice, and blue collar style all contribute to his iconic status. It was the 1990’s all over again at The Suffolk Theater and it showed Everlast’s relevance with fans has not faded one bit.Photo credit: Charles Eames Photography