Issue 4 Contents


Summerland Tour, The Strand, July 19

Everclear, Spacehog, Tracy Bonham, & 7 Year Bitch

The only thing more bizarre than bringing your mother to see Everclear play a sweaty club date with three other loud bands is that she might actually enjoy it.

I found out only days before the show that my mother would be passing through town for her annual summer check-in on the exact day Everclear was to play. She was only staying one night, so it was either bring her or leave her alone in my apartment. Not wanting her to find out that I'm a secret fan of eating only pop-tarts and chips, I brought her.

We arrived promptly at 6pm to pick up my photo pass and her charged ticket. Of course there was no photo pass for me at the door, and the dude inside the booth was pretty clueless as to where I might find the other dude with the passes. Since this is something that happens frequently in my life, I was prepared. I called Everclear's office in California and a nice lady got on the horn and got word to the booth about my preferred access. That straightened out, we went inside for a quick drink and a lesson in ear plug insertion and mosh pit safety. I told her to shove when shoved, and take care to never wind up on the floor.

Our lesson was hardly completed when 7 Year Bitch took the stage. Of all the bands performing, these ladies were the ones I was worried about mom surviving. However Selene and the other ladies were also having a family event of their own. Various relatives watched from the wings.

Even though they were well-behaved, their set still rocked pretty good. They played a bunch of tunes from their new CD Gato Negro, including "Miss Understood," and "Deep in the Heart." Their sound is loud and punky, but its not speed punk so you can understand them and they do more than just scream. People weren't moshing too much since this was the first of four bands, but started to get loosened up during "24,900 Miles Per Hour."

The band dedicated a song to a little relative of one of the girls, whose mom was holding her up to watch the people mosh. After their set, there was the first of the evening's performances by the "Arthur Makane One Man Band." Art is this Japanese street performer that Everclear saw performing and hired because he's so funky cool. He sits at his keyboard playing a guitar with a drumstick attached to it, and belts out these crazy versions of songs like "I wanna Hold Your Hand" and "Achy Breaky Heart" with his heavy accent. People loved him. He did a mini-set between each band dressed in a different motif - Elvis, Japanese Warrior, and Beatles Bop (with a Tina Turner Wig and Beatles suit).

Tracy Bonham took the stage about 20 min after the Bitches' set. She played her fiddle for the first song. Her manager saw me getting ready to take some photos and had me stopped. Apparently he wasn't aware of my status, and when I told him I'd been ok'd by Island Records, he went to check on it and never came back. Not wanting to piss of the bouncers, I decided to go get some drinks and check on Mom.

Mom was standing on a chair on the floor along the wall. She had never seen a mosh pit up close and was kinda into it. She wasn't ready to join in, but she wasn't shocked and horrified either. Tracy Bonham wasn't her thing so we went to the bathroom, did some tattoo gawking, and wrangled a waitress into bringing us a few rum & cokes. After her set Tracy Bonham's stuff was gone instantly, Arthur the one-man show did some tunes, and before you could notice Spacehog was on.

Spacehog took the stage while old Bee Gees disco blared from the amps, and immediately got the crowd going. People were waving their hands and jumping around like mad long before they played their hit "In the Meantime."

The brothers Hog really put on an energetic set full of the cheesy audience participation games that made arena rock like so much fun in the 70's. "OK everybody in the balcony - lets hear it!!" Mom was into the Hog if only because they were upbeat, and so far she'd been through the emotional ringer with the girl bands.

Also while I was taking photos of the Hog, a group of dudes sparked up a huge joint or two right in front of her chair, so she might have been riding a decent contact high. When I got back and they looked ready to fall over and mom looked a bit droopy.

Luckily Arthur the one-man band came back out and did some more sing-along songs - "Runaway" was the big encore. Even though the songs he sings are total cheese he still makes you laugh with him, not at him. People actually crowded around him to sing and wave their hands around to the music.

Everclear took to the stage around 10:30, by far the earliest I've ever seen a headliner in Providence. Since this was the "Summerland" tour, both Alex and Craig were decked out in their finest grunge surfer clothing. Also contributing to the atmosphere were two large inflatable palm trees that stayed on the stage, and two big beach balls that didn't. The beach balls were kicked around the Strand throughout Everclear's set.


Early set or not, Everclear ROCKED!!! This is their third performance in Prov this season, and it was by far their best. Alex is looking like he's having the summer of his life. He may have been a heroin addict a few years ago, but he seems to have come out of it with a vengeance. Everclear's set was fun, fun, fun.

They opened with "Summerland" then ripped into "You Make Me Feel Like A Whore," both from their second CD Sparkle and Fade. They also did some songs from their first CD as well as a new song: "Hateful."

The crowd was really moshing like crazy while Everclear played. Alex warned everybody to "keep it cool," and people seemed to respect that. This wasn't a show where things got at all ugly even though the pit was monster sized. Mutual respect reigned for once.


Alex and Craig kicked the giant beach balls back into the pit whenever they made their way back on to the stage. When he wasn't kicking or singing Alex was running all over the place. He really seems to get inspired in front of enthusiastic fans. His voice was good (but a little hard to hear) and the band's timing is excellent.

Although Mom's research had led her to believe that Everclear is a "punk" band, she didn't believe it. At one point she leaned over and screamed "Is this Punk Rock?" into my ear. I told her it sorta was, and she responded that it was also sorta Rock 'n Roll too. Having agreed that Everclear was pretty good, we decided to get into the Summerland vibe with a few margaritas.

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