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Show review: Summerland Tour 2014 at The Paramount Theater

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The 2014 Summerland Tour hit Long Island’s Paramount Theater on Sunday, June 22. For the third year in a row, the tour featured four bands that had their biggest hits in the 1990s, but are still actively recording music. Curated by Everclear frontman Art Alexakis, this year’s bands included Spacehog, Eve 6, and Soul Asylum, as well as Everclear themselves.

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On the surface, Summerland was about the hits. The obvious main attraction of a tour like this is to hear these bands play the songs everyone knows. And the show delivered on that. Each band played short, career spanning sets that gave the audience a taste of what they were looking to rekindle. Starting the night off was Spacehog, who despite a lack of energy from the audience at the beginning (which is to be expected early in the night), played a killer set, ending with their biggest hit, “In the Meantime.” Eve 6’s set was a perfect blend of their hits and fan favorites, including “Here’s to the Night,” “Open Road Song,” and “Inside Out.” Soul Asylum launched directly into “Somebody to Shove,” and saved their biggest hit, “Runaway Train,” for the middle of their set, leaving time for more fan favorites. Everclear’s set was probably the most interesting of all, starting out with a reworked version of “Santa Monica” that had the entire band standing around one microphone. After a couple of old-school favorites, the band played all of their most well-known songs, including “Father of Mine,” “Wonderful,” “Everything to Everyone,” and “I Will Buy You a New Life.”

But the night was also about these bands still being together making new music. Each band, as a requirement of the tour, played a new song. Spacehog and Eve 6 each played songs from their recent releases, ‘As It Is on Earth,’ and ‘Speak in Code,’ respectively. Soul Asylum and Everclear played new songs that have not been released yet, both from upcoming albums.

Of all the 90s nostalgia tours out there, Summerland felt like one big party. There was a real feeling of cohesiveness between the sets, making it one big show rather than just a bunch of bands put on a bill together. Alexakis made it a point to introduce every band that played. Alexakis’ excitement for these bands and the tour’s concept is unbelievable. Every time he came out to introduce a band, he had only the best to say about them, clearly wanting everyone to enjoy the bands as much as he does.

None of the bands were given any special preference either. Each band got the same amount of time as the others, including Everclear, who headlined. Even Everclear’s encore was a group effort. The encore turned into an onstage free for all as members from each band came back to help close the show with a group rendition of “Santa Monica.” It was a one of a kind experience seeing Alexakis sharing a microphone with Max Collins of Eve 6, at times switching lead. There were guitarists from each band on stage jamming along together. It really showed the amount of respect the bands have for each other to end the show as one big, happy family.

The 2014 Summerland Tour not only brought 90s nostalgia to Long Island on June 22, but a well thought out and exciting show. The night promised and delivered on the hits, while also bringing these bands’ music into the future.

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