by Adam Gold
But that doesn’t mean Middle Tennesseans who long for the days of Hyerpercolor hairdos, X-Files episodes and Oval Office blowjobs will have to identify with Bangles and Boomtown Rats hits while they live in the now. Because on that upcoming August Monday, the Summerland Tour — a nostalgic revue of ’90s alt-rock footnotes featuring Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Lit, Marcy Playground and headlined by Everclear — hits Bridgestone Arena.
Note: Read the rest of this post in the voice of Doug from MTV’s The State.
So it’s come to this? Nashville really has so many self-loathing, sex-and-candy-loving jealousy confronters longing to fly Santa Monica-way to justify a Bridgestone booking? I find that hard to believe. These aren’t even bands that filled arenas when they were relevant, or at least commercially successful. I actually saw the first Summerland Tour in 1996. I’m not proud of it, but I was 15 years old and adolescence is filled with tough transitions and poor choices. Also headlined by Everclear — think of it as the band’s answer to Ozzfest, which coincidentally launched the same year — the original Summerland trek featured Spacehog, Tracy Bonham and 7 Year Bitch on its undercard. That’s still a considerably stronger bill than this current one, at least when it comes to taste. Hell, Spacehog might even be worth seeing in 2012.
Look, I’m an unabashed ’90s enthusiast. I’m a fan of any era that elevates oddball bands like Sonic Youth, Pavement, Ween, Nirvana, The Breeders and King Missile into the greater cultural consciousness — even if much of that exposure came from videos being featured in Beavis and Butthead episodes. What utterly and completely sucks about this bill is that, while it’s ‘90s to the bone, it represents none of the quirk of the decade. I can’t think of five more innocuous bands than Everclear, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Marcy Playground and Lit to represent an era. That is, unless Len, The New Radicals and Fastball are playing the second stage. This is the last chapter of the ‘90s that I’d ever want to relive — the one where alternative rock started shitting its own cannibalized carcass out its own cultural asshole.
At least those retro ‘80s package tours that amalgamate Flock of Seagulls, Berlin, The Fixx and Culture Club on a stage would also include a Psychedelic Furs or a Modern English on the bill. Summerland 2012 is more akin to those Speedwagon/Night Ranger/Styx-style jaunts that play the shed circuit every summer. And pumping fist and singing along to “Sister Christian” and “Keep On Loving You” sounds to me like it makes for a better night out than listing to a 50-year-old Art Alexakis caterwaul about his adolescent drug addictions and his daddy issues … again.
Tickets are priced at an affordable, retro $25-$45. They go on sale June 1 at 10 a.m. right here. But before you buy a pair, or a block, or even just a single, be warned — Everclear currently features only one original member, and unfortunately that member is Art Alexakis.