Everclear @ The Roxy 11/12/09

Written By: Jim Markunas

Photos By: Ed Hannigan

View all of Ed’s Everclear photos here.

I love this band! Actually, I’ve always loved this band. The last time I saw Everclear live was back when Craig and Greg were still in the group, and they were touring to support Slow Motion Daydream. Three years later (2006), after a much publicized implosion and swarms of personal tragedies, Everclear returned with a new line-up and a new album. I bought Welcome To The Drama Club the first week it came out back in late 2006; it was a really cool record, but a dramatic departure from the band’s signature sound. Art had interwoven his feel-good rock with elements of Van Morrison/Albert Collins-influenced bar-band blues. It was really weird to hear that much Hammond organ on an Everclear record, but still kind of cool at the same time.

Flash forward to November ’09 – I found myself excited in the days before Everclear’s Roxy appearance. Would the new line-up be as good as Craig and Greg? Would they play the old songs, or were they going to perform acoustic tracks off their new disc In A Different Light ? Could Art still rock after all these years? Those questions swam through my mind as my photographer and I waited (as patiently as we could) for Everclear to take the stage.

The first band, Daniel Rockett started late, thereby throwing off the whole night’s schedule. I was pissed until I heard them play – Picture Lynyrd Skynyrd with Chris Farley’s younger brother as the singer, and you’ve got Daniel Rockett, a southern rock-influenced bar band like none other. The next act, Clayton Senne was truly a pleasure to watch (see Ed’s photos here). Clayton and his band consisted of a bassist, drummer, and Clayton himself on piano/vocals. No guitar player!!!! Clayton is the John Mayer of piano, a one-man band in his own right. If you have a chance, check out his Myspace page, you’ll hear what I’m talking about.

Finally, Everclear came on. Art and his new line up took the stage with the unpretentious swagger that Everclear is known for. They immediately ripped into “So Much For The Afterglow” as the packed club erupted with excitement. What enthralled me about Art’s new band is that, with the exception of the bass player, they weren’t too young looking. Most famous musicians make the mistake of bringing a band half-their-age out on the road with them, thereby looking like a grandparent doing his kids a favor – This didn’t happen with Art… Thank God! – Not to mention, the new line up was just as good, if not better, than Craig and Greg. The bass player handled the back up vocal duties with perfect pitch, and the guitar player hit all of Art’s old lead guitar parts note-for-note with renewed energy.

At 47, Art’s still got it! Some rockers over 35 can no longer sing with power or hit high notes. Art has kept his youthful vigor, managing to hit every note like it was 1997 all over again. Sure, he’s got twice as many tattoos and a squarer jaw-line than he did in the 90s, but stylistically, and performance-wise, Art could kick any baby band’s ass, and…. Well… did that night.

Any worries I had about Everclear vanished, as they stormed through a set that included their entire catalog (minus Songs For An American Movie Vol. 2). The few “newer” songs that were played (including a brand new song), translated just as well live as the “classic” Everclear songs. I was a little bummed that Art opted not to play anything from ’Volume 2’, (he told me later it’s his least-favorite Everclear record), but it’s a small gripe that was more than overshadowed by a great performance.

They did a 3-4 song encore (it all get’s a little blurry around then), closing with “I Will Buy You A New Life,” a perfect closing to an exceptionally good show.

The boys are finishing up a West Coast tour, and will more-likely-than-not hit the road again in the next few months. If you have a chance, head over to everclearonline.com for more tour info.

Want more Everclear?
Download Everclear’s “Here Comes The Darkness
Everclear Feature – 10 Reasons Why Everclear is Still Relevant
Rock/Metal Editor, Jason Coldiron interviews Art Alexakis
Everclear Tour News
View all of Ed’s Everclear Photos (Roxy)
View All of Ed’s Everclear Photos (House of Blues)
CWG’s review of In A Different Light


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