How do you celebrate thirty years of being a band? Well, if you’re Everclear, you do what you have been doing for all of those years– you hit the road and wow audiences with your timeless music and endless energy. Let’s get this out there right now, Everclear is one of my favorite bands of all time so, naturally, this review is going to be a bit biased and I am not sorry for that at all.
Let me set the scene for you first. This gorgeous Friday night show took place at Canterbury Park just a little south of the Twin Cities in Shakopee. Half card casino, half horse race track, the grounds of this building are gorgeous and the perfect mid-summer weather was just the icing on the cake. Upstairs there were hundreds of stadium styled-seats with a small patio below that for those who wanted to get extra bougie for the night and have a table with servers. Below that is where I found myself throughout the whole night– in a small pit right in front of the stage which stayed completely empty for the opening act (which was a super bummer and really strange honestly) but quickly filled up as one of the concert organizers took to the microphone between the two acts of the night and explained that this pit area was open to all ticket holders. But I digress. The setting was perfect and we honestly could not have asked for better weather or a better band to kick off this ongoing summer concert series at Canterbury Park.
Just a hair after 7 PM, opening act The Brevet took the stage. Hailing from Orange County, California, this band instantly enhanced the summer vibes happening throughout the quickly growing crowd. Their sound is fresh and clean but has a sense of swagger and an almost surf-rock vibe at times without pigeonholing themselves into the surf rock box. There was something about their music that just made you want to smile and instantly made you content with where you were and who you were with. It was really a pretty amazing thing to experience especially from a band that I knew very little about walking into the show. Obviously, without knowing much about this band, I can’t tell you much about the songs they performed but I can tell you that you have a lot of new music coming out soon including “Safe” which was written with Rob Thomas (or Bobby Tommy if you remember the jokes being made at the PEARS show a few months ago). The handful of mentions of new music had me excited and so ready to dig into this band a bit more. Although their sound was a bit lighter than I tend to go, there was something genuine about it. The Brevet will be playing at The 7th Street Entry on November 3rd and I seriously can not wait and urge you to come and check it out!
I feel like your love for Everclear all depends on when you were born and, thankfully for me, I was born at the perfect time for this band to hit me. One of the quintessential 90s bands, it is amazing to think back to all of the time I spent listening to them as a teenager. It was a different time for me. I was a different person and was concerned about completely different things and had a completely different vision as to where I would end up in life. I remember growing up and going to the community pool in the summers growing up with my mom and brother and having Everclear play multiple times throughout the day. I wasn’t as obsessed with music back then but I knew I loved what I heard. Flash forward to now and Everclear is still one of those bands that I constantly go back and listen to if I have no clue what to listen to. They are still my soundtrack to days spent at the pool in the summer and what I put on for cozy nights at home during the dead of winter. What I am trying to say is that Everclear is just one of those bands for me so being able to see them live on Friday was an absolute treat.
Although I felt their set was all too short, they fit a perfectly curated set into the seventeen-track performance that they gave the excited crowd. Kicking off with “So Much for the Afterglow (Intro)” and ending with “Molly’s Lips” (a flawless cover of The Vaselines), there wasn’t a single moment throughout their set where I wished they had played something different or hadn’t played a song at all. I loved hearing some of their older tracks like “Heroin Girl” and “Heartspark Dollarsign” but also loved screaming along to “Wonderful” and “I Will But You A New Life”. Even though Everclear has been around for literal decades and there have been many line-up changes leaving vocalist Art Alexakis as the sole original member, every song they performed came with a sense of polished perfection while not coming off as old or dated. Sure, some of the songs they played were damn near thirty years old but they all got performed with a sense of fresh energy.
Singing along to the songs that I have been singing along to for decades was fun but the best part of the night was getting little stories from Art about certain songs and the way he interacted with the crowd. From calling out a guy with “cop sunglasses” on and making him stand up and move to shouting out a young kid in the front row with a Cheap Trick T-shirt on and calling him the coolest nineteen-year-old there, there was just no shortage of personality coming from Art and I truly loved that, especially after the personality-lacking performance from Machine Gun Kelly on Thursday night. Out of all of the anecdotes Art told, my favorite was about how there was one day when he was on the phone in his office and cursing into the phone not knowing that his young daughter was in the other room mimicking him with a toy truck in her hand as a phone and repeating the questionable words over and over again. Sure, it was a cheesy story but the way he told it and just being reminded that first and foremost, Art is a father and a real person was absolutely perfect.
It has been thirty years of Everclear and like one of the audience members shouted out after Art mentioned this, cheers to thirty more. Everclear. What more can I say other than thank you for all of the years and thank you for continuing to do your thing with an enormous amount of heart and passion.
Venue: Canterbury Park
Smell-O-Meter: The Great Outdoors
Average Age of the Crowd: 38
Crowd Surfers- None
Mosh-ability- 2 out of 10
Sausage-Fest Meter- 6 out of 10
Stage Divers- None
Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $0
Broken Bones- None Noticed
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Fights- None Witnessed
Randomly Shirtless Men – 0
Idiots Taken Out By Security- 0
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-
The Brevet – 0
Everclear – 5
Celebrity Sightings – None
Overall Score- 8.5 out of 10
Show on Deck- Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness / Dashboard Confessional / Armor for Sleep
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