Twenty years ago, Everclear released an album titled So Much for the Afterglow. That album would end up delivering some of the bands biggest hits to date and become a must have in every music collection. Here we are twenty years later, and an album that saw heavy rotation in my CD player is tonight being played in full, inside the walls of Sydney’s Metro Theatre.
I never write much about what happens as we all stand around waiting for the band to start, but tonight when the pre-show cd played INXS’s Never Tear Us Apart, a packed to the rafters Metro started a massive sing-along, and then at the tracks end, as if on cue, the band take to the stage. It was something I have never been a part of before and felt like a special way to start what would be a Wonderful night of live music.
I must admit twenty years is a long time, and in that time so many albums have come and gone and been an impact on my musical landscape. But as the band kick things off with the title track from the album we all come here tonight to hear So Much for The Afterglow, then move into Everything to Everyone, they provide the first of many sing-alongs. I am taken aback by just how much this album means to so many people here at the Metro on a Tuesday night no less, the joy and adjuration in the room is so unmeasurable. When an album is twenty years old you can be forgiven for not remembering the track listing so Art asks the audience what the next track is, which they promptly shout out NORMAL LIKE YOU! One of the unique things about an album show is often the songwriter will reminisce and open up about what inspired them to write the song and in the case of One Hit Wonder it was written as big FUCK YOU to all the nay sayers who called the band one hit wonders and critiqued Arts music writing ability, well I guess he proved them all wrong.
Album shows can be done a few ways, tonight Everclear went with something a bit different. The first half of the set would be known as So Much for The After Glow – Side A, and it played as is from track one to track seven, then they played three older songs back to back. First up was Heroine Girl, which got us older concert going folk into a bit of a mosh and then started the rest of the set with So Much for The After Glow – Side B. Now like any record from twenty years ago Side B didn’t really contain the big hits like side A did, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t some highlight moments to be had. For me, one of those moments came before the track Why I Don’t Believe in God as a dedication went out to Chris Cornell and Chester Bennignton and a message from Art saying, ‘If you have never been there then you don’t know,’ a sentiment I can wholeheartedly agree with.
Like a California King finishes off side B and plays us out for the encore, which the band as they exit announce ‘they will be right back.’ As the band leaves, Art stays behind, grabs his acoustic guitar and strums out for us the first song of an impressive encore set, the sweet-sounding Strawberry. With the whole band now back it is time for a song that apparently only our country gives a shit about according to Art, and that song is Local God. I, along with many others, cheer with glee as my seventeen-year-old self is remembering just what it felt like to be a local god when I’m with the boys. Wonderful is exactly that, the whole room claps along and sings, it’s a touching moment. We have come to the end of the set and they decide to go big with Santa Monica, it gets everyone moving and at songs end the applause and cheer for the night we’ve had was outstanding.
As the band leaves they tell us ‘they’ll keep coming back if we do,’ and after tonight’s show, coming back and seeing Everclear again is something you can count me in for, for sure.
Review – Chad
Gallery By Christian Ross