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Show Review: Summerland Tour 2013

Matt Ellis Matt Ellis Show Review: Summerland Tour 2013
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Art Alexakis and his nostalgia-fueled ‘Summerland’ tour returned to Columbus on Friday night, offering up four hours of guitar-fronted anthems plucked straight from 90’s alternative radio.

This years tour featured headliners Everclear, along with Live, Filter and Sponge, and while it isn’t as strong a line up as last years tour the four bands certainly provided value for money and great way to see in the first night of Summer.

Opening act Sponge played a short and gritty set. Lead singer Vinnie Dombroski did his best to liven up the LC crowd and got the show off to a highly enjoyable start and provided the crowd with the first instantly recognizable song of the evening with “plowed”.

Filter started off their set with a bang as singer Richard Patrick ran off into the LC lawn to pick out fans to create his own private crowd surf pit. The intimidating front man has lost none of his earth-shaking roar over the years and he and his band mates put out an intense set, including a new song that had all the ferosity of classic Filter tracks.

Live were welcomed onstage by an almost defensive Alexakis, claiming that “everyone goes through changes”, referring to new front man Chris Shinn. In fairness to Live it really wasn’t needed as the new front man did a stellar job of leading the band through the songs he had no part in making famous.

Live finished thier set with “I Alone” which ended up as an all-star jam as various members of the other bands took to the stage. For the next couple minutes it suddenly made perfect sense why this tour is such a good idea when it becomes all about the music, friends and one last time to be a rock star in front of a an adoring crowd.

Unfortunately, a lot of the LC crowd went home before Everclear took the stage, perhaps those that were here for last years lackluster performance. Those that did stick around got to hear Alexakis’ voice back in fine form. His angst infused gruff vocals are still able to carry the bands hits but he and his band tend to look like they’re trying a little too hard to still look relevant into today’s alternative world.

Just like last year the band ended with an another all-band romp through Santa Monica, and yet again it served as the perfect ending to the Summerland show.

The 90s were the last great era for alternative bands, and with so many nostalgia tours currently out across the US it’s obvious that these bands are still loved by many and while their importance has diminished over the years, the songs are still as enjoyable as they were back when we first heard them on that mix tape your best friend gave you all those years ago.

Matt Ellis is a freelance photographer who covers bands that visit the city and the Columbus Crew MLS team. More about Matt can be found at Matt Ellis Photography.

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