Summerland: Everclear, Live, Filter & Sponge at Proof Bar + Patio, 7/14/2013
They reminded us, though, running through a much longer set than I'd expected, and busting out those huge radio songs like "I Alone" and "All Over You," and of course the placenta-ridden "Lightning Crashes." It still wasn't quite Live, but Shinn is an excellent replacement if there must be one, and with time, it may gel even further. It's just not quite there yet.
This whole Summerland Tour is the brainchild of Everclear's Art Alexakis, whose band is easily the biggest name on this Summerland bill in terms of longevity and mainstream appeal. It was easy to see why they were headlining, once Alexakis took the stage alongside the cutest little girl ever (his), who introduced their set.
Even with just Alexakis as the last man standing in that band, they've still got the entire Everclear vibe down to a T. That surfy, peppy, alt-rock sound that has made them so distinguishable is still right where they left it, even if new folks picked up to back his vocals where the others left off.
And Alexakis is one of the most charismatic front men from the '90s scene, honestly. He's just freakin' likable; there's something really crystal-clear about his intentions after all these years. He doesn't feel like a nostalgia act, or at least he doesn't appear to feel that way. He's just up there, makin' music and playing those radio hits that folks have come to expect from them.
And play them they did; their entire set was a run-through of every hit they've had -- "Santa Monica," "Father of Mine," "Heroin Girl," they played 'em all. You'd hardly know that the band isn't sporting the original lineup, either. They're just a solid group, and they are what they are. Alexakis loves the stage, he loves the music, and he really seems to enjoy the fans out in the audience, all of whom were jamming along to those old songs right along with him.
By the end of Everclear's set, it didn't matter that the venue was a bit dodgy in terms of space, or that we were bouncing around on hot-as-shit asphalt; Summerland promised some of the bigger, better alt-rock acts of the '90s, and they delivered, even on the pavement in a parking lot.
Personal Bias: I saw Everclear a few years ago at House of Blues with my baby sis, and I didn't expect to like them nearly as much as I did, so I knew going into this that they still play one hell of a set.
The Crowd: Oh, what a strange mix. Bros and chicks, and everywhere in between.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Does this bartender really need sunglasses indoors? I mean, it's fuckin' overcast, for Christ's sake."
Random Notebook Dump: It's July in Houston. Indoors next time?