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LIVE: EVERCLEAR, Perth – 14 May, 2015

| 20 May 2015 | Reply

LIVE: EVERCLEAR, Perth – 14 May, 2015
Rosemount Hotel, Perth, Western Australia
Thursday 14 May, 2015-05-18
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Stuart McKay

A couple of years ago when Everclear last toured Australia, they had a new album in Invisible Stars to showcase. This time round there’s another new record – Black Is The New Black – but the showcase is all about playing their second album Sparkle And Fade from start to finish to celebrate its twentieth anniversary almost to the day (the official release date was 23 May, 1995).

Everclear Live in Perth 14 May 2015 by Stuart McKay (21)

“How’re you going, motherfuckers?” Art Alexakis, singer, guitarist and only remaining member from the Sparkle & Fade days, greets the sold out crowd, before dispensing with chatter and blitzing through the album.

From the start the crowd lapped up every song, especially the big alternative chart singles Heroin Girl, You Make Me Feel Like A Whore and the classic Santa Monica.

Playing three of their biggest songs in the first four is a great way to get the crowd on-side, but by Alexakis’ own admission the second half of the album is less played by the band, and some lesser attentions waned a little.

Alexakis lets the crowd shout Strawberry’s payoff line, “yes I guess I fucked up again”: it’s an extremely human moment. We’ve all fucked up in different ways – it is, like many of Alexakis’ lyrics, completely relatable. The magic in his lyrics was that although he was telling tales mired in junkie hell and overdose damage, he always looked for the positives, always strove to find a way out.

Heartspark Dollarsign, Her Brand New Skin and Chemical Smile keep the vibe up and the audience pogoing and screaming along, and My Sexual Life closes this much-loved album out on a high note. The band have been a five piece for far longer now than they were a trio, and the sound is rich and full, even on this plaintiff lament to small town gossip.

A short break followed, before Everclear were back to play a few favourites from Fade’s follow-up, So Much For The Afterglow. The title track, Father Of Mine and Wonderful are especially well-received, with plenty more crowd interaction, pogoing and singalongs, and new track The Man Who Broke His Own Heart holds its own against the classics.

There’s another break, then a final encore of their contribution to Baz Luhrman’s Romeo & Juliet soundtrack Local God – “if I don’t play this song I’ll probably get my ass kicked”, Alexakis laughs, and a big finish with I Will Buy You A New Life.

The one thing missing though, was Alexakis’ vocal strength. On the last tour he struggled by the time the tour wound up in Perth, and this time round was the same. The pressure of seven gigs in eight days seems too much when coupled with plane trips and jetlag.

Alexakis seems to agree, suggesting they’d come back for the twentieth anniversary of Afterglow, but possibly “starting the tour in Perth, so my voice won’t be so worn out by the time we get here”. Let’s hope that’s the case, as if these songs prove such great entertainment with his vocals are sub-par, imagine if he was at full power.

Set List:
Electra Made Me Blind
Heroin Girl
You Make Me Feel Like a Whore
Santa Monica
Heartspark Dollarsign
The Twistinside
Her Brand New Skin
Queen of the Air
Pale Green Stars
Chemical Smile
My Sexual Life

So Much for the Afterglow
Everything to Everyone
Father of Mine
The Man Who Broke His Own Heart

Local God
I Will Buy You a New Life

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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