By Peter Sloggatt
The ’90s almost seem too recent for there to be a revival show, but that’s how Art Alexakis, lead singer and guitarist of the alternative rock band Everclear, is billing the four-group Summerland Tour he’s headlining.
Everclear tops the bill on the 36-stop Summerland Tour with indie bands Soul Asylum, Eve 6 and Spacehog. The tour made a stop at The Paramount in Huntington this Sunday, June 22.
Alexakis, whose multiplatinum-selling band Everclear topped the charts with hits like “Father of Mine” and “Santa Monica” has put together the Summerland Tour for the past three years. Past tours have featured classic throwback bands such as Gin Blossoms, Lit, Sugar Ray, Marcy Playground, Live, Filter, and Sponge.
“This tour just seems to get better and better every year. Both the bands and the fans are starting to connect with the name Summerland,” he said. “It seems like it’s becoming synonymous with ’90s alternative rock.”
This year’s lineup represents a refinement of his curating process.
“They’re not mothball bands. These are bands that are like me, still plugging away, playing and touring,” Alexakis said.
“I tour a lot,” he added. “I’m a big time family guy. I’ve gotta pay the bills.”
His own band, Everclear, tops the bill promising hits like the modern rock radio staples “Santa Monica,” “Everything to Everyone,” “I Will Buy You a New Life,” “Father of Mine” and “Wonderful.” Everclear (Alexakis, lead vocals/guitar; Dave French, guitar/vocals; Freddy Herrera, bass/vocals; Sean Winchester, drums/vocals; Josh Crawley, keyboards/vocals) has sold more than nine million albums globally and remains a potent force on the touring circuit.
Soul Asylum formed in 1981 and delivers heartfelt, passionate rock ’n’ roll. They started with the independent label Twin/Tone Records before moving to Columbia Records for 1992’s “Grave Dancers Union.” That album included the Grammy-winning single “Runaway Train.”
Out of southern California, the pop-punk trio Eve 6 is best known for hit singles “Inside Out” and “Think Twice” from their 1998 debut album, and their prom-MTV anthem, “Here’s To The Night.” Eve 6 (Max Collins, vocals and bass; Jon Siebels, guitar; and Tony Fagenson, drums) exploded onto the mainstream with RCA records before they were of legal drinking age, but called it quits after just a few years. They reunited in 2012, and frontman Collins said their current album is the strongest collection of songs they've had on one record.
Rounding out the Summerland Tour, Spacehog brings a unique sound influenced by the likes of T.Rex, Iggy Pop, Queen and David Bowie. Add distorted guitars to glam rock and you have Spacehog.
In this third (and by no means final, Alexakis promised) year organizing the Summerland tour, Alexakis is getting into a groove.
“The first year I just reached out to a couple of friends who have bands,” he said. There were some big names, but Alexakis has since grown more selective.
“After the first year I realized I wanted just guitar-based, real bands. This year, it’s the same thing... bands that I love. We downsized it to smaller venues, and kept ticket prices low,” he said. “We’re not trying to recreate Lollapalooza. You get four big bands, and they gotta play the hits.”