The '90s. Just those two words probably conjure up enough cringe-worthy memories for those who're old enough to have lusted after FUBU wind suits and a dresser full of Tommy Hilfiger jeans to elicit a whole new slew of high school-related nightmares. But if you're among those of us who're reminiscent for the days when you were held in esteem for sporting an Adidas track jacket or combat-style Doc Martens with a flannel tied around your waist, we have just the thing for you.
Staring notorious '90s hit makers Everclear, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Lit and Marcy's Playground, Summerland Tour 2012 is coming to the Sound Board at Motor City Casino Hotel on 8/2 to play once more the amalgam of songs that make up the soundtrack to youth for Generation Y.
The brainchild of Art Alexakis and Mark McGrath, front men of Everclear and Sugar Ray, respectively, the tour is something of a nostalgia trip. Though all of the groups have put out at least one studio album in the past three years, none have had chart-topping hits akin to those of their heyday for, generously speaking, a few years now.
Sugar Ray released Music for Cougars in 2009, but and it's been 11 years since their hit, "When it's Over" peaked at the number six spot on the Billboard 200 chart, achieving gold status. And although McGrath's gone on to work as a celebrity news anchor on Extra as well as hosting the ill-fated syndicated version of Don't Forget the Lyrics and even appeared on Celebrity Apprentice (he placed 10th), he seems to feel his calling still lays in, if not making new music, at least performing the songs that first brought him to fame.
McGrath has said the tour is something he hopes will be a yearly thing. And according to Alexakis, there are already plans in the works for what will be happening next year.
"The buzz is there," he says. "Ninety-five percent of the promoters we've worked with want us back next year. We've already had about six bands contact us, wanting to be involved."
Though he's mum on who exactly he's interested in adding to the tour in coming years, it seems certain that the line-up will be changing. The only thing that's for sure is that it the tour will continue to be solely about the music of the '90s. Even though Everclear just released a new record, Invisible Stars, Alexakis says they'll be focusing on the hits they became famous for.
"You're not going to hear us performing some obscure hit from our indie EP," he says. "When we do our club tour in the fall, that's when we'll be playing stuff from our new album, but that's not what this is about."
As for the groups that are on this inaugural tour, Alexakis says one-hit-wonders Marcy's Playground will probably be the one that surprises most people, stating that even though most people are only familiar with their tune about odors involved with coitus and confections, they are much more than just that song.
"For people who make music, watching Marcy's Playground perform is amazing. Everyone who sees them play, their mind is blown," he says.
He's equally excited about the rest of his touring partners, stating that Gin Blossoms and Lit were two groups that he and McGrath wanted involved from the beginning.
Whether you're a fan or one of these groups, all of them or just a general '90s lover, this is a tour that's not going to disappoint you, according to Alexakis.
We're having fun," he says. "And our goal is to make sure everyone has a good time." | RDW
Summerland Tour • 8/2, 7 p.m. • motor city casino hotel Sound Board • 2901 Grand River, Detroit • 866.782.9622 • motorcitycasino.com • $42/$45