March 24, 1998 in Features

Everclear Ends Tour On Energetic Note

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Everclear

Sunday, March 22, The Met

There’s a certain risk in seeing bands play on the last night of a lengthy tour. They’ve spent months on the road performing the same songs, night after night. They’re likely tired of traveling, tired of the music, tired of each other.

But if that was the case at Everclear’s concert Sunday at The Met - that band’s last show for this round of touring - you wouldn’t have known it by watching the performance.

The entire evening played out as much in the fashion of a riotous party as it did a rock concert. Everclear and its opening bands, downright giddy with end-of-the-road energy, pranked each other throughout the night, covering their fellow musicians, the stage and the crowd with baby powder, silly string and toilet paper. But for all the antics, the bands didn’t forget to rock.

And the show came off all the better since it was the capper on a hometown-boy-made-good story.

Everclear bassist Craig Montoya grew up in Spokane. In front of a crowd thick with family and friends, he romped the stage, plucking his bass with the vigor of a guy arriving home with the world in his hands.

Such good will and on-stage revelry spread through the crowd with gluelike tenacity similar to that of the florescent green silly string.

Feeder, a threesome from England, hadn’t even finished its first song when members of Everclear invaded the stage, showering their friends with talcum powder.

Powder white and strung with goo, Feeder still managed to work its way through blazing rock numbers like “Stereo World” and “Cement” off its album “Polythene.” For Feeder’s final songs, Everclear returned to the stage, pounding out the rhythms on a second drum set.

And if the guys in Feeder thought they’d been thoroughly pranked, well, Jimmie’s Chicken Shack got it doubly so. Midway through the set Everclear frontman Art Alexakis tackled and nearly depantsed lead singer Jimi HaHa, who already had been crowned with TP, tape and silver sparkles.

The punky funk laid down by Jimmie’s Chicken Shack swirled the crowd in front of the stage into a sweaty froth as it jumped and swayed to the thick beats of “High” and “Dropping Anchor.”

With the stage cleaned of the previous mess, Everclear arrived in front of the crowd dressed in black suits and skinny black ties. With a light system that would make a UFO jealous, the band lit with firecracker might into “So Much For The Afterglow.”

If the road weariness showed, it was in Alexakis’ voice. He started the set a bit hoarse - a bit tired - but he warmed up as the concert went on.

Joined by an extra guitarist and percussionist, Everclear’s meaty hooks and thick riffs swept The Met with favorites from its albums “So Much For The Afterglow” and “Sparkle and Fade.”

The crowd reveled in the potency, singing out the words to “Santa Monica” and “Everything to Everyone.” Montoya furiously slapped and ripped out the gutsy bass lines for “El Distorto de Melodica.”

“Do you guys mind if we play some acoustic songs?” Alexakis asked. “We’re getting kind of old.”

Sitting on stools, they eased out the big warm sounds of their acoustic guitars for songs like “Heartspark Dollarsign” and “My Sexual Life.” It was a perfectly timed break from electricity. They plugged back in with the punch of songs like “I Will Buy You a New Life” and “Heroin Girl.” And in the end, they were called back for an encore by an audience chanting their name.

“I speak for Craig and everyone in the band: It’s good to end this tour in Spokane,” Alexakis said.

And Spokane felt the same way.

, DataTimes

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