by Phillip Johnson
Summerland 2021 Tour feat. Everclear, Hoobastank, Living Colour, and Wheatus
July 11th, 2021
The Summerland Tour is the brainchild of Art Alexakis of Everclear. His vision was a summertime tour of 90’s nostalgia that featured the likes of Sugar Ray, Live, Filter, Lit, and so many others from that era. It was a night that featured bands that started their journeys in the early 80’s to the beginning of the next decade. From the alt-pop rock of Wheatus, Living Colour’s powerful mix of funk and rock, Hoobastank’s driving rhythms, and Everclear’s California alternative, it was a rock n’ roll dreamscape that had something for everyone.
Wheatus opened the night and immediately charmed the crowd with “Through”, a bouncy high-energy track which lead singer’s Brendan B. Brown’s (affectionately known as BBB by the fans) vibrant vocals complement. Their band arrangement was a bit unorthodox but worked, with dual drummers in the middle of the stage, flanked on both sides by keyboards, two backup vocalists, and bass. Another highlight of their set was “Temporary Song”, a harder song that encouraged the crowd in general admission to jump and dance. Closing out their set was their pop hit from 2000, “Teenage Dirtbag”, which prompted a sing-along throughout every chorus.
Next up was Living Colour, innovative musicians from New York city. The power quartet of Corey Glover (vocals), Vernon Reid (guitar), Doug Wimbish (bass, who replaced Muzz Skillings in 1992), and Will Calhoun (drums) have been melting faces since 1984. Their music has heavy influences in heavy metal, funk, jazz, r&b, and punk rock. Glover walked confidently on stage with his orange hair in a dreadlock bun, flashed a smile and jumped right into “Type”, a heavy rock tune, with its commentary on the stereotypes of the time and its far-reaching influences.
The crowd was on their feet for the great majority of the set, feeding off of the dynamic stage presence of Glover and Wimbish, along with the beautiful chaos of Reid’s guitar stylings. They have the ability to slow it down and truly tap into their funk/r&b with “Love Rears Its Ugly Head”, with Glover tenderly, almost melancholic, proclaiming that he is falling in love. The crowd knew it was coming for their closing track and when the familiar opening guitar riff of “Cult of Personality” soared off of Reid’s signature Parker Dragonfly. They were the elder statesman of the tour and gave a master class of showmanship and style.
Hoobastank followed Living Colour and skipped the introduction, launching right into “Pieces” with lead singer Doug Robb screaming “Turn around and pick up the pieces!”, this got the crowd hyped immediately to say the least. The band with, in my opinion, the most unique name in rock n’ roll (it actually derived from Robb mispronouncing a German street name), carved a dedicated fan base in the early 2000’s rise of emo-rock movement with their dynamic live performances and ability to pen songs that span the spectrum of emotion.
Even though the band is known for the breakout self-titled album in 2001, they have actually been together since 1994, cutting their teeth in the SoCal rock scene. “Crawling In The Dark” was their first single off that album and it drove the crowd into a frenzy when the guitar and drums dropped after the opening riff. The band may be known to drive their fans into frenzies and mosh-pits with their hard driving sound, but their signature song will always be “The Reason”. A power ballad with a bit of an edge, this song evoked such emotion from the crowd when they let the crowd take over during the chorus bridge singing simply “And the reason is you”.
Note: See all our concert photos from this show and thousands more on Austin 101.
Rounding out the night was Everclear, the alt-rock pioneers from Portland (not Santa Monica). With one of the godfather bands of the mid-90’s alt-rock universe, nostalgia was in the air when they came on the stage.
Alexakis’ signature songs about the push and pull of life, childhood, and depression coupled with a more pop-rock sound connected with fans even through the dominating grunge and hard rock of that time. Case in point was their second song, “Everything to Everyone”; one of those tracks that sounds sunny, but bridges that serious conversation about the vicious cycle of taking care of everyone before yourself. They cut loose from their pop-rock stylings with “Amphetamine”, a punk-rock ode to a courageous girl trying to break free of the emotional chains that have been weighing her down. They ran through their other hits like “Father of Mine”, “Wonderful, and “So Much for the Afterglow”, before ending with “Santa Monica”. A song that evokes visions of the west coast along with the pain of loss; another 90’s alt-rock masterpiece.
The Summerland tour certainly fulfilled its purpose in transporting audiences back to the sounds of the 90’s, and this time even the 80’s. It’s hard to believe the 90’s began more than 20 years ago, but nights like this show that it was also a seminal time in music history.
Time Stand Still (Rush cover)
Ignorance is Bliss
Open Letter (To a Landlord)
Love Rears Its Ugly Head
Cult of Personality
Out of Control
Inside of You
Born to Lead
Crawling in the Dark
Everything to Everyone
Father of Mine
I WIll Buy You a New Life
So Much for the Afterglow