Nineties alt-rock four piece ‘Everclear’ is embarking on a twentieth anniversary tour this summer, celebrating their 1997 hit record ‘So Much for the Afterglow.’ The group is currently comprised of frontman Art Alexakis, who is now a married father of two, and bandmates Davey French, Freddy Herrera, and Jake Margolis. ‘So Much for the Afterglow’ was inspired by NYC, rejection, and the film Jerry McGuire. This multiplatinum release is still the most popular of the group’s records. On top of going multiplatinum, Everclear has a 1998 Grammy nomination and has recieved massive play on MTV and alternative radio stations nationwide. On this tour, Everclear will perform tracks the band has never played live as well as fan favorite, singalong hits.
Their late spring show at Mavericks in Jacksonville, Florida was not officially part of this tour but gave a good preview of what we can expect from it. The room did not seem to fill until Everclear took stage, so it will be interesting to see how the opening act switch will change things. Fastball and Vertical Horizon will be replacing Skyview and Dog Apollo on the summer tour, hopefully bringing larger, higher energy crowds. Right away, Everclear made sure the please the crowd with “Father of Mine.” Frontman Art Alexakis teased himself and the crowd about being old throughout the show, but he has a point. Even I feel old realizing that songs like “Santa Monica” came out twenty years ago. The band seemed to have a great time, interacting with each other and the crowd during the show. Even though the crowd was small, and the last band definitely did not neccessarily set the mood, beer-fueled enthusiasm filled the room. You can tell that a lot of real, long time fans, who know the words came out, and were thrilled to be seeing the band live.
Before embarking on the tour, the group communicated that they have a special mission – to connect with longtime fans and hear audiences sing a long. They definitely achieved this at Mavericks. There were some admitted mess-ups, but some of the tracks had never been played live before. The crowd handled it well and as the tour goes on hopefully Everclear will be able to gauge what unreleased tracks crowds are most receptive to. Midway through the show, everyone still had their beer held high, dancing with whoever happened to be standing next to them. We were treated to guitar solos, and during the fifth song, a strobe light shined on the crowd as Everclear motioned for everyone to jump and clap. They know how to get the crowd pumped (and so does the beer).
Midway through their set, Alexakis pulled out the acoustic for someone less popular, unreleased, and country inspired originals featuring just him and lead guitarist Davey French. Not many people knew the words and the crowd began thinning. By the time the full band returned to the stage, a significant amount of the crowd left the venue. Things were briefly revived during a solo from French but unfortunately the overall energy of the room had died down, and everyone who was still there seemed to need another beer or two.
For fans of Everclear, there is a nostalgia to this tour and nostalgia cannot be beat. Everclear was never a group with a huge repetoire of popular tracks, but a drunken singalong to a song from twenty years ago is always a good time. It will be interesting to see if the energy on the official tour will be any different. If the acoustic numbers are dropped and the opening acts bring the same energy as Everclear, this tour will be even more fun than the show at Mavericks was. Everclear is a group who clearly loves their fans, so if you love them, the “So Much for the Afterglow” tour will be a can’t miss.