So Much for the Afterglow 20th Anniversary Tour
Vertical Horizon, Fastball
Sun, June 18, 2017
Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:00 pmThe Cotillion Ballroom
$30.00 - $225.00
This event is all ages
$1 from every ticket sale goes to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund which provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems.
All seating is general admission. Table reservations are available at The Cotillion or by calling 316-722-4201. Nancy's A-Maize-N Sandwiches will be here serving her Famous #8 and more! Text ROCK to 49798 updates and chances at FREE tickets! The Check Room is open during events to check your coats, hats, purses and more.https://www.thecotillion.com/event/1432736/
Davey French – Guitar, Vocals
Freddy Herrera – Bass, Vocals
Jake Margolis – Drums
It’s been 20 years since Everclear released their 1997 multiplatinum smash So Much For The Afterglow, yet the album remains a beloved fan favorite, and continues to inspire new generations of musicians & fans today. Bolstered by the record’s enduring popularity, Everclear are about to embark on a highly anticipated tour celebrating its milestone anniversary, with plans to perform the album front to back, including some tracks the band has never played live.
As the band’s third full-length, So Much For The Afterglow built upon the momentum of 1995’s Sparkle And Fade, with a slew of unforgettable songs that permeated MTV and alternative rock radio. The album—which remains Everclear’s best-selling release to date—quickly won over listeners with its trademark combination of melody, rhythmic energy, evocative lyrics and thundering guitar crunch.
“It makes me feel really good when I read a lot of what people still think about the album, and how many bands have been influenced by it—how much impact it had on them—and I think about how much impact it had on me, in a different way of course,” says singer-guitarist Art Alexakis. “It’s still a thing; it’s still relevant and real 20 years later.”
Formed by Alexakis in 1991 in Portland, Oregon, Everclear has enjoyed a lengthy career spanning 10 studio releases, numerous videos, thousands of shows and accolades that include a 1998 Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental, for the Afterglow track “El Distorto de Melodica.” Like a true survivor, Alexakis has soldiered on through multiple lineup changes over the years: During the Afterglow era, the band also included Craig Montoya on bass and Greg Eklund on drums; the forthcoming anniversary tour features current Everclear members Davey French (guitar), Freddy Herrera (bass) and drummer Jake Margolis. In recent years Alexakis also created and runs the annual Summerland Tour, which features a package of popular ’90s alt rock bands.
Amid all of Everclear’s accomplishments, the Afterglow period remains a pivotal moment. After enjoying a taste of success with Sparkle And Fade and its still-prevalent hit single “Santa Monica,” Everclear returned to the studio in 1996 more determined than ever to perfect their sound. By the end of the year the band had already completed an album, tentatively titled Pure White Evil, but after one particularly blunt conversation with an A&R executive, the singer/guitarist/songwriter Alexakis knew there was more work still ahead.
“He told me, ‘It’s an ok record, but it’s not going to do what you want it to do, and it’s not the best record you can make’,” Alexakis recalls. “He said that, and I just knew he was right. I knew I wasn’t digging deep enough.”
Alexakis spent roughly the next week living in a New York City hotel, contemplating his next move. He walked the city streets and went to multiple showings of the film Jerry Maguire. Inspired, he went back to his hotel room and started anew, while taking close stock of the existing Pure White Evil material. With the band and label on board with the new plan, Everclear continued to write and refine the new material over the spring of 1997 until Evil morphed into what eventually became So Much For The Afterglow.
“Looking back, I remember just how balls-out and brash I was,” Alexakis says. “I just had a vision and after Sparkle I was desperate not to have a sophomore slump and be a one-hit wonder. I was just going forward with my vision and dragging my guys behind me. We just believed that we were on a mission to make a great record. To this day, it’s probably my favorite Everclear album.”
Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Afterglow is its visceral, infinitely relatable lyrics, some of which are autobiographical. Although, according to Alexakis, many people think the majority of his songs are.
”I like storytelling…writing from the first person perspective,” says Alexakis. “’Father of Mine’ (the hit single which expresses the singer’s feelings of estrangement and abandonment by his father) and a couple of others are stories from my life.” While other tracks, meanwhile, offer the singer’s wry observations on the world around him. The common thread, and the message that’s most powerful amid all of Alexakis’ lyrical soul baring, is that no matter how hard things get, there can always be better days ahead.
“From my perspective, the album told stories of an American life that had gone through ups and downs and still wasn’t 100 percent,” Alexakis says. “I still had to deal with issues like parental abandonment, poverty, abuse and drugs. But even though those things are there, there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel, though it’s hard to see sometimes, and even though the record’s dark and heavy at times, it convey’s a sense of hope, which is probably why it seemed to connect with a lot of young people at the time, because even though it sucks being a teenager, or in your early 20s…you want to know there’s a chance. I’m an optimist; There’s always an upside somewhere.”
Since the album’s release, the songs have taken on a life of their own through the interpretations of listeners, who’ve made their unique personal connections with record. However some of the tracks still remain deeply personal to Alexakis, and there will likely be emotional onstage moments during the upcoming tour. For this reason, some Afterglow tracks will be performed live for the first time in years, if not ever.
“There are still songs on this record that I have a hard time singing, because I get so emotional,” says Alexakis. “We don’t play them a lot, ever, but we will on this tour; we’re playing all the songs. ‘Why I Don’t Believe in God,’ is an especially hard one to sing. That’s a song about my mom.”
Other tracks promise to be great fun. The kinetic energy of So Much For The Afterglow makes much of it ideal for concert stages, and Alexakis is eager to share and experience the material again in a live setting along with fans. On a personal level for Alexakis, who’s a married father of two daughters, it will undoubtedly be a much different tour here in 2017 than when the band was young and hungry and just promoting the album for the first time. But some things—namely the remarkable quality of the songs and the enthusiasm fans have for the record—not only remain steadfast, they’ve even continued to grow and appreciate over time.
“’California King’ is a blast to play,” he says. “The harder rock songs, like “One Hit Wonder,” are going to be fun to play. We’ve been breaking that one out in rehearsals over the last couple months; it’s tight and sounds really good. I still like playing the hits, too. I love the way people respond and sing along with the songs. That’s something songwriters never get tired of.”
It’s likely that crowds will have plenty to sing about when the So Much For The Afterglow Tour—which also includes ’90s compatriots Fastball and Vertical Horizon—hits a nearby venue later this year. Alexakis says that the roughly 90-minute set will also include other favorites from Everclear’s back catalogue, but will feature So Much For The Afterglow in its glorious entirety, performed with the loving respect it deserves. Beyond his own gratification, Alexakis says the forthcoming Afterglow tour is very much a gift—and a thank you—to fans of the album.
“A lot of people really identified with the songs off this record and it meant something important to them,” Alexakis says. “That means a lot to me, that I’ve had a positive impact in someone’s life. As a dad, and a person who’s constantly trying to do the right thing, that’s big. It just makes me feel really good that people connected to what we were doing, and that it still means something to them. What more can a guy in a rock and roll band ask for?”
Their follow-up album, Go, was released in 2003 and solidified the band as a no-nonsense pop rock entity. Eventually, the band took a hiatus to pursue individual interests. In 2007, feeling the time was right to start working on a new album, Matt began composing the songs which would eventually become Burning the Days. The album was released in 2009 on Vertical Horizon’s own label, Outfall Records. One of the songs, “Even Now,” was co-written by Scannell with his close friend Neil Peart, the much-heralded drummer from Rush. Peart played drums on that song as well as two other tracks on the record. Burning the Days was critically acclaimed and produced two Hot AC radio singles, “Save Me from Myself” and “The Lucky One.
”In addition to writing and producing songs for Vertical Horizon, Matt has spent the past few years writing songs with and for other artists. In 2010 he wrote “Wish You Were Here” for the band Hey Monday, featuring lead singer Cassadee Pope, who went on to win season 3 of NBC’s hit show The Voice. In 2012 Scannell teamed up with Daniel Powter to write “Come Back Home,” which was used to promote NBC’s “Chicago Fire.”Scannell and Grammy-winning songwriter/producer Richard Marx collaborate often and sometimes play acoustic duo shows together. They co-wrote Marx's 2012 AC hit “When You Loved Me,” which reached number 15 on the Adult Contemporary Chart.
This fall Vertical Horizon will release their new album, Echoes From The Underground. The title of the album is a lyric from the song "Evermore.” It captures recurring themes throughout the record, such as a emotional and physical distance, as well as the often-hidden layers of emotion that exist within relationships. The first single, “Broken Over You,” is available for download on VerticalHorizon.com. This summer, the band takes to the road as part of the Under the Sun 2013 national summer tour with Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, Gin Blossoms and Fastball.
Joey Shuffield - drums
Miles Zuniga - vocals, guitar
"It was just circumstance," Tony Scalzo says of the eight-year recording gap that preceded the new Fastball album, Step Into Light. "We've always been active, and we've never really gone a year without doing a bunch of Fastball shows. But things are really picking up now, and things are rolling like crazy."
The 12-song Step Into Light, on the band's own 33 1/3 label, embodies all of the qualities that have endeared Fastball to listeners during the trio's twenty-year-plus career. Such catchy, compelling new tunes as "We're On Our Way," "Behind The Sun," "Best Friend," "Love Comes In Waves" and "I Will Never Let You Down" continue the band's longstanding legacy of infectious songcraft and pointed lyrics, as well as playfully inventive arrangements that lend additional depth and resonance to Scalzo and Miles Zuniga's distinctive songwriting.
"My favorite kind of songs," Zuniga says, "are the ones that have hope in the face of hopelessness. Songs that say 'Life sucks and everything's against me, but I'm gonna smile and survive anyway.' That's the essence of rock 'n' roll music for me, and I think there's a fair amount of that on this album."
Fastball recorded Step Into Light in its hometown of Austin, Texas, with the three bandmates co-producing with longtime friend Chris "Frenchie" Smith (Slayer, Meat Puppets, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead) at Smith's studio, The Bubble.
The album was mixed by legendary engineer Bob Clearmountain, who also handled mixing duties on two prior Fastball albums.
"We consciously decided to make this record in a short period of time, so we just went in and knocked it out," Zuniga explains. "I really liked working that way, and I think the fact that we recorded it in under two weeks made it a better record. We didn't have the luxury of getting too precious about things, so we gave ourselves a hard deadline and pretended it was the 1950s—the record light's on, let's do it! It also helped that we've grown a lot as musicians, so we have the ability now to get things right pretty quickly."
"We had a great time making this record," asserts Shuffield. "Working fast was really positive for us, because we had a lot of adrenaline going and there was no wasted time. A lot of the stuff we did was one or two takes of all three of us playing together in the same room. You can't really do that as a new band, but the fact that we've been together so long creates a certain unspoken communication that saves a lot of time."
The resulting album extends and expands Fastball's widely-loved body of work, which encompasses such acclaimed albums as the band's 1996 debut Make Your Mama Proud, their 1998 platinum breakthrough All the Pain Money Can Buy (which spawned the Grammy-nominated Top Five hit "The Way"), 2000's The Harsh Light of Day, 2004's Keep Your Wig On and 2009's Little White Lies.
While it's a natural musical successor to the band's prior work, the self-financed, self-released Step Into Light—the first Fastball album to get a vinyl LP release—also continues Fastball's seamless evolution into a resourceful, self-contained D.I.Y. combo.
"We were one of the last bands who got to go into a big studio with a major-label budget, with runners and assistant engineers and cool rented gear," Scalzo notes. "We were fortunate to have that, because it was a great learning experience and it taught us to be producers. There's a time when you're the big new thing and everyone loves you, and then there's a time when nobody's returning your phone calls. We're lucky that we survived that and came out on the other end, and we're a stronger and better band because of that."
Step Into Light demonstrates that Fastball's collective creative rapport, forged over two decades of writing, recording and touring, remains as potent as ever. "There's nothing more satisfying than being in a room with those guys and making it sound like a Fastball song," Shuffield says. "That chemistry has always been there, from the very first time we played together. Our history, and the musical journey that we've been on together—all that stuff comes out when we play together."
"The three of us all have our own individual preferences and baggage and whatnot, but there's a certain sound that comes out when the three of us play together that we can't get anywhere else," Zuniga adds. "We never have to worry about it, it's just always there, and it's been there from the beginning."
"We never really blew it," Scalzo says. "We've had plenty of chances to embarrass ourselves and do some of the stupid things that bands do, but I don't think we ever have. Considering how long we've been together, that's a real achievement."
Another continuing thread in Fastball's musical life is the band's loyal fan base, which has continued to support the band through thick and thin.
"I'm continually amazed," Shuffield says, "that we'll play deep cuts and lesser-known songs, and people will know every single word to every song. It's extremely gratifying to know that you had that kind of effect on someone, and that the music you created resonates with them so strongly. Now it's become a generational thing; our original fans bring their kids to the shows, and then the kids become fans."
With a beloved body of work under their collective belt and Step Into Light making it clear that their musical light still burns as brightly as ever, Fastball is entering a positive and productive period that promises all manner of musical riches.
"When I was younger, there were all sorts of ulterior motives for being in a band," Zuniga reflects. "It wasn't just music, it was all the vices that go with being in a rock band. But I'm not concerned with any of the other stuff anymore; I just want to make good music. I think that we're all enjoying the band more than we ever have. We're in a really good spot right now, and we just want to make as much music as we can, while we can."
"We're really excited to get out there and play this new material," concludes Shuffield. "It's a blessing to have been doing this for so long and still having new music to play, and we're thrilled to be able to keep doing this."