Reminiscing ‘Under The Sun’

By Andrew Wroblewski


“Follow Me” to “Run Around” and “Someday” you’ll be an “All Star.”

Chances are – whether a fan or not – over the last two decades, one of these addicting rock anthems have been stuck in your head.

If not, then the Under the Sun tour hopes to refresh your memory at The Paramount on July 29 when Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, Blues Travelers and Uncle Kracker gather for a night of nostalgia.

“With the Under the Sun tour we’re not reinventing the wheel,” Mark McGrath, front man of Sugar Ray, said. “We all know why we’re out there; we’re happy to play the hits.”

While the tour has existed as Under the Sun since it was started by McGrath in 2013, the 2014 outing will still mark the third straight year of Sugar Ray gracing Huntington in one way or another – making The Paramount what McGrath calls a “most iconic stop.”

“The Paramount is something that all of us look forward to,” said McGrath, who has led Sugar Ray since the band’s conception in 1986. “It’s such a beautiful venue, the acoustics are great, the staff couldn’t treat us any better and there’s a real intimacy to performing there.”

That intimacy is something all of the bands look forward to, according to McGrath, especially when they break out some of their most popular hits – like Sugar Ray’s “Fly,” which was voted the 52nd greatest song of the ’90s by VH1 last year.

Like Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, Blues Travelers and Uncle Kracker are all set to “pour on the hits” during their 40-45 minute sets of rock and roll in one form or another in what McGrath called “the most diverse” lineup the tour has ever seen.

“Sure, Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray are almost ironically similar – to the point where people sometimes mix us up,” McGrath, part of Sugar Ray’s songwriting team, said. “But Uncle Kracker has been able to deliver a country aspect to it all while Blues Travelers are really a jam band.”

As it seems, diversity has given the tour its “strongest lineup ever,” according to McGrath, with bands that have all topped the charts through the last two decades.

“We can all open the show and we can all close the show,” the Southern California native said. “That means you better get there early or you might miss Sugar Ray; you might miss Smash Mouth, Uncle Kracker or Blues Travelers, since we’ve been switching the lineup depending on the demographic.”

With monster hits like Smash Mouth’s No. 1 single “Walkin’ on the Sun,” Blues Travelers’ “Hook” – a top 40 jam from 1995 – and Uncle Kracker’s iconic reimagining of Dobie Gray’s anthem “Drift Away,” which rocked the charts in 2003, the tour seems poised to keep The Paramount swooning on Tuesday.

Swooning with nostalgia, that is.

“This is absolutely a celebration of nostalgia… That’s not a bad word to me,” said McGrath, who reminisced of touring the world through the ’90s. “Maybe you had your first kiss to a Sugar Ray song or your first beer to a Smash Mouth song – but that doesn’t mean any of that music is necessarily better than today’s; we just look back at it more warmly.”

Tickets are available at or from the box office at 370 New York Ave. for $56.50-$89.50.