Featuring Everclear, Living Colour, Hoobastank and Wheatus
House of Blues Boston
July 1, 2021
Photos & Review by Michael LaFleche
BOSTON – What a night to be on Lansdowne Street in Boston on Thursday night. The Red Sox had just beaten the living daylights out of their opponents across the street at Fenway Park and another high energy at the House of Blues was just starting as the bleachers emptied. This was the first show at the storied venue since I was there almost 18 months ago. Live music is back!!! Everclear was in town, along with other well known acts from the 90’s New York City and west coast Los Angeles rock scene joining them, like Hoobastank, Living Colour and Wheatus.
Normally it would be enough to hear the musical memories of my formative years, but the fact that I was able to be in a large music hall again with fellow photographers in the pit and seeing excited live music fans for the first time in ages made the feeling unforgettable. Everybody seemed like they were on Cloud 9. The fans, and even the bands playing, because for them too, it was their first chance to see fans come back to the art they create.
First up was Wheatus. You may recall this nerdcore band, with the great hit “Teenage Dirtbag” and the music video with Jason Biggs in it. It was an upbeat way to begin the show. The band consists of Brendan B. Brown on lead vocals and guitars, with a menagerie of backup singers, keyboards and dual drummers.
WHEATUS – Photo Gallery
Next up was Living Colour, one of the funkiest hard rock outfits ever assembled. The band looked and sounded like I remembered them back in the day. Corey Glover’s unique and smooth vocals graced the adoring crowd with the high voltage of Vernon Reid on the lead guitars and the rhythmic beats dropped down by Will Calhoun on percussion, with prolific bassist Doug Wimbish. Living Colour has been cutting grooves since the early 80’s and they look and sound amazing. Their set was high energy and of course ended with the enduring hit “Cult of Personality” which always seems relevant no matter when you listen to it.
LIVING COLOUR – Photo Gallery
Hoobastank was next on what seemed like a show turned mini-festival. The lighting was different for them, so I went black and white on the photos here, which I think really set the emotional tone for their set. Doug Robb on vocals was pretty intense and full of emotion with his bandmates Dan Estrin on guitars, Chris Hesse on bass. All the songs I remember sounded even better today, with the high vibration rapid plucking of guitars that are part of many of their songs. “Crawling in the Dark” to start up the show. Mosh pits started developing in the center of the floor, but still, everybody was so polite and nice, such a funny thing to see! The pit collapses in favor of slow dancing and swaying arms as the tear jerking “The Reason” was perfectly played with Doug’s emotional vocals being the star of the show. But we needed to wipe the tears of our faces so to wrap up, the pit re-emerged with the hard rocking “Out of Control”
HOOBASTANK – Photo Gallery
And the headliners now appeared at 11 p.m. for what everybody was hoping for, a fun, upbeat performance from Everclear. Every song felt like a hit as I recollected hearing these songs on the radio over the years. Leader Art Alexakis, donning a Red Sox shirt, looked ready to rock and tell stories. The rest of Everclear also was primed, as they have been doing a few shows leading up to this formal tour, with Dave French on the guitar, Freddy Herrera on the bass with Brian Nolan on the drums.
The set included “Summerland”, the insanely catchy “Everything to Everyone” with the sarcastic twang of Art still coming though like he is still a young precocious punk rocker. The hit “Heroin Girl” and Father of Mine” all had great audience participation. “I Will Buy You A New Life” was part of the set too.
The band came back for the encore with the song everybody wanted to jam to, the song we all think of when we think of Everclear, Santa Monica. One more song was added, Molly’s Lips as the crowd left the House of BLues to a flooded Lansdowne street as the rain was coming down in monsoon like levels in Boston. The tour continues, so if you want to see feel-good music at it’s best, check out the rest of the tour as it heads south and west at http://www.summerlandtour.net.