It happens to every band. It happens to every singer. Sooner or later, you become a nostalgia act. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but the music industry has a way of pushing older acts aside to make room for the fresh, newer than new talent. Now that '80s music is labeled as "oldies" (shudder), it's only natural that all the '90s bands take their turn on the nostalgia circuit. Such was the case at the cozy Arvada Center Thursday night when Toad The Wet Sprocket, Smash Mouth and Tonic offered up a great triple bill of anti-grunge '90s pop/rock.
CLICK HERE for a photo album of Smash Mouth, Toad The Wet Sprocket and Tonic photos by Christine Tomczak Photography.
Full disclosure – my wife and I are huge Tonic fans. We celebrate their entire catalog and even have Emerson Hart's excellent solo CD's. We saw Tonic play a fantastic 80-minute free show in 2012, unfortunately Thursday they were limited to a brief seven song set including opener "Open Up Your Eyes" and the biggest hits from Lemon Parade including "If You Could Only See" and a heavy "Casual Affair."
Next up was Smash Mouth – or so I thought. Toad The Wet Sprocket was billed as headliner on the tickets and all the advertising, but they took the middle spot on the bill instead. A barefoot Glen Phillips casually took the stage wearing shorts and a t-shirt and launched into "Good Intentions." Within two songs, rain started pelting the fans on the uncovered lawn so Phillips remarked, "It's a proven fact that we do better when we are a little uncomfortable because it wakes us up!"
Toad had just finished "Architect of the Ruin" from their new EP when an annoying fan shouted "Free Bird" causing bassist Dean Dinning to reply, "We're strictly an Allman Brothers cover band – no Skynyrd."
Jonathan Kingman's tasteful lap steel guitar work during "Bet On You" and "Walk On The Ocean" was exceptional while guitarist Todd Nichols sang lead vocals on "Crazy Life." A fun moment came when Tonic drummer Pete Maloney joined Toad's Randy Guss behind the kit to play "Nightingale" at the same time.
Smash Mouth came out with both fists swinging – literally jumping on the stage like five insane Jack Black's in School of Rock. Opening with a cover of "Can't Get Enough Of You Baby" by ? and the Mysterians, the band brought a ton of energy to the stage even if the rest of their catalog didn't quite match up to their enthusiasm. Covers of "Why Can't We Be Friends" (War), "All Day And All Of The Night" and "You Really Got Me" by The Kinks (I guess that's why the bassist wore a Van Halen t-shirt), and Neil Diamond's "I'm A Believer" (from Shrek) filled the time nicely until their biggest originals "Walkin' On The Sun" and "All Star."
I may not own any Smash Mouth records, but they won me over with their solid performance. The drummer brought a Tommy Lee-like thunder, while vocalist Steve Harwell and guitarist Sean Hurwitz also deserve honorable mention.
In a new statement released to Joni Mitchell's official website, the singer's conservator Leslie Morris confirms that Mitchell suffered an aneurysm but denies singer David Crosby's comments that "she is not speaking yet."
"Joni did in fact suffer an aneurysm. However, details that have emerged in the past few days are mostly speculative. The truth is that Joni is speaking, and she's speaking well. She is not walking yet, but she will be in the near future as she is undergoing daily therapies. She is resting comfortably in her own home and she's getting better each day. A full recovery is expected."
According to TMZ, Journey drummer Deen Castronovo has been charged with rape.
Castronovo had been arrested earlier this month for domestic violence related charges involving his wife, but now the D.A. has added new charges - rape, sexual abuse, coercion and unlawful use of a weapon.
Castronovo is being held without bail in Marion County, Oregon and has been replaced in Journey by drummer Omar Hakim.