Concert Review: Everclear, Vertical Horizon, June 11, Danforth Music Hall


During Everclear’s performance of “Normal Like You” (the third song off of So Much For The Afterglow, the album the band was touring behind in honour of its 20th anniversary), there was a mass singalong of the lyric “I will never be normal like you.” A quick survey of the crowd immediately after suggested to me that they all looked pretty damn normal, relatively speaking. I guess 20 years might do that to an Everclear fan – eventually, somebody’s going to buy you a garden and a new life and there you are, all normal and stuff all of a sudden. Another sign that everyone is 20 years older came when singer Art Alexakis exhorted the crowd to jump during “Everything To Everyone” and well, everyone did not jump. That’s hard on the back and the arches, don’tcha know. Anyways, we’re all getting older, so I won’t belabor the point, but I will note that Alexakis made an old guy joke later in the night at his own expense when he quipped, “Look out, they gave grandpa a whammy bar.”

The band performed So Much For The Afterglow in it’s entirety, taking a break halfway through the album to perform a handful of songs from other albums, including “Heroin Girl,” “Heartspark Dollarsign,” “Fire Maple Song,” and the “The Man Who Broke His Own Heart” before coming back to the second half of the album and returning for an encore that ended things off with their biggest hit “Santa Monica.” I found it a bit weird that they would separate the album into “side 1” and “side 2” seeing as how the album they were playing was released when CDs were very much still a thing and vinyl was not really yet a thing again. But I guess the band are all old enough to remember vinyl the first time around anyways and splitting it up into two halves gave them the chance to play a few more songs from throughout their career. It probably also helped to split things up since the “second side” of Afterglow didn’t really have any hits.

Speaking of songs that people don’t necessarily know, Vertical Horizon singer Matt Scannell was kind enough to warn the crowd that they were about to play a brand new, unreleased song and sort of ask permission to play it. “I know it’s weird to see a band and hear a song you’ve never heard before, but we hope you like it. Because writing songs is my favourite thing to do and I don’t ever want to stop.” I can only speak for myself, but having never paid much attention to the band, they were practically all new songs to me, and I’d wager that most were probably fine with hearing the new song since several of them likely only know a maximum of two songs by the band anyways. Scannell seemed to acknowledge as much when he thanked the “stalwart few” who were singing along earlier in the set and jokingly encouraged everyone to sing along even if they didn’t know the words. I’ve always thought of the band as nothing more than a footnote in the annals of ’90s rock, but there were indeed some hardcore Vertical Horizon supporters up front and it was kind of heartwarming nonetheless to see how appreciative Scannell and his bandmates were of the fans.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts