LIVE REVIEW: Everclear bask in the ‘afterglow’ at Boston’s House of Blues

As Everclear feasted their eyes on an enthusiastic Boston crowd this past Wednesday at House of Blues, their energy—which came off as slightly offputting—was unexpectedly wondrous. This tour, one that marked the 20th anniversary of their breakthrough album So Much For The Afterglow, was ripe with the kind of nostalgia that 90s alt-rock fans could only dream of. Of course, Everclear wouldn’t go it alone; openers Fastball and Vertical Horizon would shamelessly share in the reverie. The former proved slightly more steadfast with songs like “I Will Never Let You Down” and “Sooner or Later” paving the way for “The Way” and “Out Of My Head.”

Vertical Horizon, however, opted to embrace the motions of remembrance. Lead singer Matt Scannell used moments in between songs to express his love for writing lyrics, recalling the first time he heard a Vertical Horizon song on the radio, and even shouting out his hometown of Worcester before delving into smash singles “You’re a God” and “Everything You Want” as their final songs of the night. But when Everclear finally locked in for their set–which was So Much For The Afterglow in its entirety—their vibrancy came in waves. One moment, it was cyclical. Despite the record turning 20, it’s been nearly 30 years of Everclear’s existence. Of recording songs and shooting videos and making cameos on Total Request Live and basking in the effervescence of Afterglow. So the audience basked with them.

We sung along when prompted to sing, jumped when instructed to jump, laughed at the band’s frivolous anecdotes. There was some boasting of the Boston Red Sox, which was complimented by slander of the New York Yankees. There were references to cassette tapes and televisions that weren’t flat screens. And there was gratitude. Gratitude that despite the passing of two decades, So Much For The Afterglow has not only managed to stay afloat in the hearts and minds of their fans, it has proven to be an audible relic for listeners who measure their memories with music. From the title track to an encore of other hits like “AM Radio,” “Wonderful” and “Santa Monica”, what this show—like all Everclear shows—culminated was the celebration of songs that take you back to an era when times were simpler, alternative rock dominated the airwaves, and sentimentality was a remote thought.

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