Live Review: Everclear

6 October 2017 | 9:33 am | Darren M. Leach

"For a dude in his 50s, Alexakis, still knows how to fire on all cylinders."

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'90s nostalgia has been all the rage these last few years, and you either love it or loathe it. Being a child of the '90s this writer is all for it. Portland band Everclear were a big deal back then. Triple J played them non-stop. Their mix of alternative rock and post-grunge fuelled large scale festivals like Livid.

Back in 1997 the then three-piece band released So Much For The Afterglow, the follow-up album to the hugely successful breakthrough Sparkle And Fade, which spawned hits like Heroin Girl and Santa Monica. So Much For The Afterglow sold just as well and they continued to be triple j darlings and sell out huge venues. Fast forward 20 years the band dynamics have changed - singer and guitarist Art Alexakis is the only original member remaining - but thankfully that youthful '90s firepower was still there and the album sounds just as fresh.

Tonight they celebrated the 20th anniversary of the album by playing it in full with a mix of other hits thrown in between. 9pm hit and the Beach Boys-esque intro to the title track began to play over the speakers; cue crowd roar. The band entered the stage looking sharp in their three-piece black suits and skinny ties and got straight into the meat of the song. This shit might be 20 years old but the mainly 40+ crowd were loving it - already singing along, beers aloft, reliving their younger days for the next 90 minutes.

Alexakis was clearly enjoying himself as he tore through the first half of the album, grinning and thanking the crowd throughout. Admittedly it's been a while since we gave So Much For The Afterglow much of a spin, but as the band worked through the first five it came back quickly. It's crazy to think that a band that never made it to commercial radio had that many hits and sold so many albums. That was the '90s, kids!

Scattered throughout the set they threw in some tracks from their other albums. Smack bang in the middle were three of their better-known cuts - Heroin Girl, which was played surprisingly early, Heartspark Dollarsign and You Make Me Feel Like A Whore - all from 1995's Sparkle And Fade. Each made the crowd lose their shit.

As they continued to tear through their set, you realised how many great tracks they really had and how good the '90s really were. Alexakis took the time to chat to the sold-out crowd at The Gov, telling them that Like A California King was written in a hotel room right here in Adelaide back in the mid-'90s, and thanking us because Local God (from the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack) was only a hit in Australia.

Wrapping up the show he dedicated Why I Don't Believe In God to his mum and Chester Bennington from Linkin Park. Wonderful and the big one, Santa Monica, concluded the better than expected show. For a dude in his 50s, Alexakis, still knows how to fire on all cylinders.

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