Tuesday nights have long been renowned for their party atmosphere; during this one most recent l was delighted to be seeing Everclear live in concert.
The show was advertised to begin at seven o’clock therefore, cutting short that evening’s class I quickly replaced my jiu jitsu gi with a respectable rock concert ensemble and dragged my still-perspiring physique along to the Allen Street Rock Club.
After locating Allen Street without issue but having to perform numerous circuits of surrounding one-way, or roadworks-restricted, streets in order to even get close to where I wanted, it was in a state of sweaty frustration that I held my breath and executed an impeccable parallel park somewhere along Manchester Street. A balmy northwest breeze doing nothing to placate my temperament I feverishly disembarked, locked up, hesitated, re-opened and threw in my glasses, locked up again, turned, turned back, re-opened again to hastily swallow another half litre of water, locked up for a final time – I hoped – and made my brisk way to this hitherto uncharted rock venue.
I entered the typically bleak establishment to the uplifting audio of, what turned out to be, Assembly Required. Their style of fast-paced, bone-thumping yet immediately aurally pleasing hard rock was brilliant. Less impressive – particularly if you’re a girl named Stacey – was the next act, Setting Fire to Stacey. I’m sure they meant well and try as they did to enliven the crowd, they just couldn’t live up to the hype that followed Assembly Required. New Reptiles were next on and such was their classically pseudo-American tone that the mildly inebriated woman to my right shrieked into the depths of my eardrum, “Are Everclear on next – or is this Everclear?”
Everclear were on next. Perhaps it was due to my listening more closely to this band than I had been the others, or maybe it was simply that I felt I should have recognised their tunes, but initially, I was disappointed. For a five piece rock band comprising a vocalist, two lead guitars, one bass guitar, and drums, I found it curious that the only instruments I could hear were the drums and, occasionally, the vocals – albeit with that inherent rock star tuneless quality. I then realised that this had been a theme throughout the night – bass drums that made your jeans quiver and stomach flutter, along with a snare that did all it could to shatter what was left of your eardrums – which, when you are unfamiliar the song being played and are thus not expecting anything in particular, is fine. The issue that I had in this case was that when it came time to bring out, arguably, Everclear’s biggest track, Santa Monica, and given that for the weeks leading up to the concert I had been hanging out to hear the live rendition of that famed ‘Santa Monica guitar riff’ that any 90s teenager will know, the guitar in question was virtually inaudible on account of the overpowering – but might I say, spectacular – drum work.
This, on consideration, probably had more to do with the club’s sound desk – directly to the left of which, incidentally, I was situated – rather than the band itself, rendering any negative band critiques regarding equal sound quality indeed, baseless.
As a band Everclear delivered what they promised and had no trouble ingratiating themselves to the ardent audience. All the classics were played including, Santa Monica, Heartspark Dollarsign, Heroin Girl, then towards the end, right when I thought they weren’t going to do it, they busted out my favourite, Father of Mine.
Ultimately, personally, it was a good night: four hours spent amid a quaintly dank rock club on Allen Street; hydration maintained with reasonably priced non-alcoholic beverages; a more or less constant stream of flatulence provided by the protein-shake guzzling, muscle-bound character standing before me; attractive bargirls in short skirts to occupy any visual downtime; good energy emanating from all around with zero incidents of hostility; four high quality rock bands all for under $90. Good times.
Thank you, Everclear. See you again.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Art Alexakis
Photography by Flash U Lance