The Under the Sun tour came through Georgia on Saturday night playing to almost seven thousand people at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Alpharetta. The tour includes four co-headlining acts who had several huge songs in the 1990’s and early 2000’s; Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, Blues Traveler and Uncle Kracker so the show was one for nostalgia.
Most of the 30- and 40-something crowd were ready for a great time and none of the acts disappointed. Running almost four and half hours, the show was a marathon of good times and great not so oldies!
While none of the acts were household names, even back in the 1990’s, it was obvious that the music was well-known as the crowd sing-alongs were frequent and loud. For the more casual fans it was a blast hearing songs that you recognized but wouldn’t have remembered who the original artist was; there were a lot of “I didn’t know they did that song!” moments.
First up was Uncle Kracker. Kid Rock’s former sidekick went out on his own in 2001 and his country rock was a perfect way to start the evening. In a set shortened by the need to get four artists on before the midnight curfew the band played their two biggest hits, “Follow me” and “Smile” while also covering several others music including friend Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long.”
Smash Mouth probably stole the show with their set that was a live version of their favorites from their “All Star Smash Hits” album. They did include a Kinks classic “All Day And All Of The Night” which was great before finishing off strongly with “Walkin On The Sun”, Monkees cover “I’m a Believer”, and “All Star” in front of the crowd who were, by this time, all up and dancing in the aisles.
Sugar Ray followed and kept the momentum going with a high-energy set and performance that had Mark McGrath engaging with the audience at every possible opportunity. Another shorter set meant there was no time for anything other than hits; “Every Morning”, “Fly” and “Someday” were the highlights although their cover of Violent Femmes “Blister in The Sun” was a fun and faithful rendering of the hit.
Last up were Blues Traveler who pleased the audience with their mega-hit “Run-Around” but wowed them with Charlie Daniels’ “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” replacing the fiddle with John Popper’s harmonica.
It was pretty obvious that all the performers enjoyed the evening and the renaissance of their hits that it provided. The fans had a blast too and benefitted from the opportunity to hear some of the biggest summer hits of 15-20 years ago all in one night. It was a night that delivered a lot of fun “Under The Sun.”