I got to B.B. King Blues Club & Grill three hours early, as per usual before an Everclear concert. I sat on a barstool in the dining room, killing time in the place where legends come to play. When the doors officially opened I took my position at the foot of the stage, resting my hands among the amp cables on the edge of the platform. No barriers, no railings, no stony- eyed security guards, just dust particles swirling in disco ball light and a tingly air of anticipation.
The opening acts, Syka, and Hydra Melody killed it, their passion rising above the thirty or so people milling around and eating their candlelit dinners in the back of the room. By the time Everclear came on, though, the floor was packed. This was the Sparkle and Fade 20th Anniversary Tour, so the band played the entire second album, interspersed with a few new songs from their recent release, “Black is the New Black”, and classics like “Father of Mine”, and “Wonderful.” Forever rising in his own weird way, Art Alexakis fed off the vibrations. “I want to mosh”, announced a voice from the audience, prompting a mini lecture from an amused Art on the subject of middle aged men and mosh pits. As the setlist neared its halfway point, Freddy Herrera sweated over his bass, cocooned in his own halo of neon and white heat. It’s after shows like these that I wonder why the American youth to which I belong does not lust after those lights anymore; it has forgotten that dirt, that cool, the patched up glory of bleach stains and rock and roll music.
I really needed that show. The sincerity shared among the members of the band defined the atmosphere of that room, and the frantic, breakneck, midtown Manhattan night happening outside B.B. King’s ceased to make sense. I’d like to thank Art Alexakis, Freddy Herrera, guitarist Dave French, keyboardist Josh Crawley, and drummer Sean Winchester for staying after every show to meet the fans- this makes each performance an intimate exchange of energy as opposed to a service.