June 30, 2014 Summerland Tour 2014 blisters at The Paramount Huntington, NY 6-22-14 w/ Everclear, Soul Asylum, Eve 6, & Spacehog
The Summerland tour came to be in 2012 as the brainchild of Everclear front man Art Alexakis and Sugar Ray front man Mark McGrath. These two and their respective bands hit the road along with other acts intent on evoking a 90’s alternative rock nostalgia. Now celebrating its third year in 2014, Everclear and Summerland hit the road bringing along Soul Asylum, Eve 6 and Spacehog. Helping kick off a summer of fun Summerland returned to The Paramount in Huntington, NY for the first time since its inaugural tour in 2012. Arriving on Long Island on Sunday June 22nd, the bands were greeted by an ecstatic crowd ready to have a good time.
Playing emcee most of the night, Alexakis humbly introduced each band including opening act Spacehog. Originally from Leeds, West Yorkshire but formed in New York City, Spacehog brought to the 90’s a bit of glam to go with the grunge. Taking some time away from performing the band reformed in 2009 and released their fourth album, As It Is On Earth, in the spring of 2013.
Opening with a cover of the Boomtown Rats “I Don’t Like Mondays”, Spacehog’s energy was contagious. With many buzzing about their electrifying live performance, a six song set was too brief for fans and new listeners alike. With their serious chops also came cheeky rock star posing, complete with singer/bassist Royston Langdon on his knees in front of Richard Steel’s guitar. Short and sweet the band’s time came to an end with 1995’s biggest hit off of Resident Alien, “In The Meantime”, and it felt as if all of The Paramount were singing along. Be sure to arrive early to check Spacehog, it is a worthwhile experience.
Next to the stage were Eve 6, who appeared on the scene in the late nineties with their self-titled debut that spawned the single that caught everyone’s attention,”Inside Out”. Remaining active over the years the three-piece band consisting of Max Collins (lead vocals, bass), Jon Siebels (guitar, backing vocals), and Tony Fagenson (drums) also took a hiatus from touring resurfacing in 2007. With almost a decade gap between records Eve 6 released their fourth album Speak in Code in April of 2012 to eager fans.
Taking the stage in energetic fashion the band blasted through a seven song set mixing in new and old tracks like “Victoria”, “Think Twice”, and “Curtain”. Collins frequently told the patrons of the Paramount how grateful he was to be there, even taking a photo of the audience from the stage. The band and crowd alike were exuberant, especially during singalongs such as “Inside Out” and “Here’s To The Night”. Eve 6 still has that youthful stage presence all these years later and are a blast to watch live.
Following was Minneapolis, Minnesota band Soul Asylum. Formed in 1983 the band was the most steeped in 90’s grunge culture for this year’s Summerland Tour. Spending most of the 80’s signed with local label Twin/Tone Records the band signed to their first major label in 1988 and broke into mainstream success with the multi-platinum album Grave Dancers Union (1992). Now three decades later, the band has survived lineup changes, label changes, and even the death of an original member Karl Mueller. Standing strong, founder Dave Pirner marched on and released one of Soul Aslyum’s most surprising albums in years titled Delayed Reaction in 2012.
They took the stage just after nine playing “Somebody To Shove” to cheers. Although their set was bound to feel nostalgic, it was filled with youthful high energy as well as a balance of songs from their career including “Black Gold”. Pirner’s singing still sounded great on old favorites like “Misery” and “Runaway Train” and he even looked like a snapshot of himself frozen in time, only slightly aged. Be sure to pick up Delayed Reaction to hear what excellent new music this veteran band has to offer.
Moving on to the final act of the night, Eve 6’s Max Collins had the honors of introducing Everclear. Affectionately speaking of being a fan when he was younger and obviously happy to be touring with them as an adult. Everclear formed in Portland Oregon back in 1991. After two original members, Craig Montoya and Greg Eklund, left in 2003, lead singer and songwriter Art Alexakis briefly performed solo, but eventually decided to revive the Everclear name a year later with new members. Now settling in with the line-up of Dave French (lead guitar), Josh Crawley (keyboards), Freddy Herrera (bass guitar), and Sean Winchester (drums), the band tours regularly to the delight of longtime fans. Releasing their eighth studio album Invisible Stars in 2012, Everclear is prime to keep rocking for years to come.
Everclear walked onstage one by one, circling around one microphone with only an accordion to accompany a brief tease of “Santa Monica.” Soon after, they launched into another track from 1995’s Sparkle and Fade, “Heroin Girl”. Everclear revels in the memory of their glory days, which in turn makes those days not lost, but resurrected. They were able to infuse the crowd with the same feeling, singing along with “Father of Mine” and “Wonderful”, while still being responsive to newer material. The band left the stage after “I Will Buy You A New Life” only to return for an encore, with Alexakis acknowledging his bandmates individually as they played something of a classic rock medley.
Many of the bands spoke with fans after their sets, taking pictures, and signing autographs. Alexakis himself knelt by the side of the stage greeting everyone who walked up to him as the crowd slowly dispersed. Eventually he jumped down among the fans, expressing his happiness that they enjoyed the show. It was his goal to bring around a tour with great bands and great songs that everyone knew the words to and could enjoy all over again. Alexakis put together something special with the Summerland Tour 2014 and his enthusiasm will just fuel it in years to come.
Check Summerland Tour 2014 on the following dates:
7/10/14 — Midland, TX — The Hacienda Event Center
7/11/14 — Dallas, TX — South Side Ballroom
7/12/14 — Shawnee, OK — The Grand Event Center
7/15/14 — Tempe, AZ — The Marquee Theatre
7/17/14 — Los Angeles, CA — House of Blues
7/18/14 — Las Vegas, NV — Fremont Street Experience
7/19/14 — Valley Center, CA — The Event Center at Harrah’s Rincon
7/20/14 — Visalia, CA — Fox Theatre
7/22/14 — Portland, OR — Crystal Ballroom
7/29/14 — Boise, ID — Revolution Center
7/31/14 — Denver, CO — Ogden Theatre
8/01/14 — Bonner Springs, KS — Cricket Wireless Amphitheater
8/03/14 — Sturgis, SD — Easyriders Saloon
8/05/14 — Cedar Rapids, IA — McGrath Amphitheatre
8/07/14 — West Allis, WI — Wisconsin State Fair
8/08/14 — Arlington Heights, IL — House of Music and Entertainment
8/09/14 — Toledo, OH — Hollywood Casino Toledo
8/10/14 — Yonkers, NY — Empire City Casino 2014 Summer Concert Series