Way back in 1995, Everclear's "Santa Monica" (off the album Sparkle and Fade) was one of the best songs on the radio. And, although often unfairly accused of being Nirvana-lite, Art Alexakis and his revolving cast of backup musicians were capable of channeling a lot more than grunge into their clever and powerful creations.
A lot of folks seem to begrudge Alexakis his accomplishments, but over the ensuing years, the guy has produced some very interesting songs. Immediately following up Sparkle, the band released So Much for the Afterglow, a beautiful and diverse collection of songs that addressed the pros and cons of success.
After that, things got bumpy: Band members came and went in a flurry that suggested that Alexakis wasn't the easiest guy to work with. Now fronting the third incarnation of Everclear, Alexakis is still never-the-less capable of bringing the goods in concert. Although Everclear's 2009 release, In a Different Light, was a rather bland, acoustic reinterpretation of the band's earlier hits, the two new songs on the record (especially "At the End of the Day") spoke well of the next studio effort slated to come out in the next couple of months.
So tonight's Everclear performance will not entirely be about old glories. And though things may not be 190-proof like the band's liquid namesake, but there's still a kick in these post-punkers.