July 8, 2012, for four glorious hours, Zappa and I witnessed the best of what former 90s legends could scrape together for a summer tour 15 years past their prime. The venue was, uh, small, but we did manage to trade in our reserved seats for up-close-and-personal general admission tickets. Which was only about half-full when we arrived. I drank beer–beer, people–which generally does not happen, and Zappa and I both got a little tipsy. We danced and sang at the top of our lungs, to the point of nearly losing our voices–or, at least, losing the ability to hear our own voices. But it was friggin’ amazing. I give you Summerland Tour 2012. Starring:
Marcy Playground opened. You know Marcy Playground. They were famous for all those songs, like “Sex and Candy” and…um…well, I guess that’s it. At least, that was the only song I knew. And look at these photos (all taken by Zappa with her phone, btw). Don’t they just scream sex and candy?
Next up, Lit. I had to scratch my head for a minute to figure out who these guys even were. But their performance was much more energetic, which made all the head-scratching totally worth it. Zappa and I rocked out, even if we didn’t know the words to most of their songs. (Okay, I knew some of the words. Remember “You make me come. You make me complete. You make me completely miserable”? Apparently that’s Lit.)
Middle of the show, and my favorite, by far–Gin Blossoms. Yay! Robin Wilson (and yes, I had to look up his name) handed out white plastic tambourines to the crowd, and I sang along with every. single. song. It was awesome.
Then came the moment we’d all been waiting for. Or, you know, not so much. Sugar Ray. If I could have just skipped it, I would have, but somehow it would have made our concert-going experience incomplete. Plus, we were in the middle of chatting up a man who looked to be an accountant, who apparently knew the Gin Blossoms’ drummer, and who also seemed very excited for the next performers. So we hung around, pretended to sing along un-ironically, and rolled our eyes only slightly.
And finally, the headliners (if only by virtue of being last), Everclear. They weren’t terrible, although the sound guy should have been fired because I couldn’t understand a word Art Alexakis was saying/singing. Good thing I knew a lot of the words on my own. The pinnacle of our concert-going experience happened during this set, when a fight nearly broke out because some drunk idiot (large, drunk idiot, I should mention) kept flicking beer into the crowd, and someone had the nerve to call him on it and kindly ask him to stop being such a jerk. Zappa tried to defuse the situation by attempting to dance with one of the would-be fighters, only to have his girlfriend threaten to kick her ass. We stayed out of it after that.
Oh, but the very best part was that the lead singer of Lit kept playing air guitar. During his own set. And during Everclear’s. It was pretty fantastic.