It was an absolutely stormy night at the Brenton Skating Plaza in Des Moines where the Summerland Tour featuring 90’s alternative rock giants Everclear, Marcy Playground, and Local H came to remember and celebrate the 1990’s. The 1990’s were a time where we would cruise around on rollerblades with our Sony Walkmen’s and sing along to our favorite songs. That’s what this tour is all about, and that is to celebrate when times were relatively innocent and when the memories were treasured and appreciated. Chicago duo Local H took the stage after Everclear frontman Art Alexakis emceed the concert.
As the wind was blowing and the night sky was becoming increasingly cloudy, Local H came storming onto the stage and showing people why they are the true pioneers of two piece alternative rock bands. The duo of Scott Lucas on guitars/vocals and Ryan Harding on drums really showcases how tight and raw Local H continues to be after all of these years. Local H certainly drove the point home that they were still around with their hard hitting riffs, stage presence, and the tight drumming exhibited by Ryan Harding, who has proven to be a valuable asset to the pioneering duo rock band. Local H warmed up the crowd with their favorites such as “Hands On The Bible” and “Bound For The Floor”.
Marcy Playground was next to take the stage. In between sets, there were famous hits of the 1990’s, I remembered the songs “Peaches” by Presidents Of The United States Of America and “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt blaring through the sound system and people were singing along to every word as memories of those songs rushed back to their lives. That is what makes music so special.
Marcy Playground brought a more laidback California vibe type of rock to the music. It was cool that the bassist for Everclear filled in for the set. They had a nice groove to their set, and they had their set cut in half practically due to the severe thunderstorm that came down on the Des Moines scene. They delayed the show, which frustrated concertgoers at the Brenton Skating Plaza, but there isn’t much a person can do about that, after all, Mother Nature is going to do what she wants to do. I took cover at a nearby parking garage and walked back when the rain subsided. Art of Everclear came out to announce that Marcy Playground was going to finish their set, and they closed it off with their smash hit “Sex And Candy”.
After a delay due to the weather, Everclear was the band that finished out the night at the Brenton Skating Plaza in Des Moines. Everclear had the challenge of condensing their set down while trying to please the crowd of hundreds of people to a solid night of alternative rock and they handled it like the seasoned professionals that they are. With songs such as “So Much For The Afterglow” and “Everything To Everyone”, they reassured the crowd that they were in for a solid night of rock. Art’s voice sounded kind of scratched up, yet it works for this band, as he has had that vocal style for the most part throughout his decorated career. Through their catalog of hits, Everclear also pleased the old school fans with songs such as “Heroin Girl” and “World Of Noise”. The crowd got anxious as the 11 PM curfew was drawing near, but Everclear wasted no time in making sure that the audience was there to sing along to the Everclear songs that they wanted to hear and after a brief call for an encore they closed it out with their smash hits “Wonderful” and “Santa Monica(Watch The World Die)”.
In a nutshell, Everclear was only able to get roughly a 45 minute set in, however, they didn’t waste time with unnecessary filler and they let the audience know that they are just going to play the songs that they came to hear, and the audience left home pretty satisfied considering the circumstances. It was a memorable night of rock that brought back the good old days for my generation, a time when one connected with the bands that they loved and where songs brought back memories, like an old class reunion.
There are still some dates left on the Summerland Tour. Check them out!
Friday, June 22nd- Showbox SoDo in Seattle, Washington
Saturday, June 23rd- Muscogee Creek Nation Festival in Okmulgee, Oklahoma(one-off)
Sunday, June 24th- McMenamin’s Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon
Wednesday, June 27th- Ace Of Spades in Sacramento, California
Thursday, June 28th- Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, California
Friday, June 29th- House Of Blues in Anaheim, California
Saturday, June 30th- Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada
Sunday, July 1st- The Cave in Big Bear Lake, California
For tickets and further information, click here. As a note, the Oklahoma show is not a part of the Summerland Tour package.