Smash Mouth – Under The Sun Tour 2013

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Under the Sun in Asbury Park was, well, much better than any high school reunion and in a way it sort of felt that way – at least in a music sense. 90’s rockers Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Vertical Horizon and Fastball stopped in a for a show at the summer stage at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park on August 2nd.

It has for sure been sometime since hearing new material from many of the bands and I usually see Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray hosting TV shows nowadays but now with the 25th anniversary of the band I suppose he felt it was time to round up some of his buddies from the 90’s and put on a show!. Nevertheless, I never had a chance to see any of these acts when I was younger and this was the perfect opportunity and when I found out a few months ago that Smash Mouth was in the studio I was even more pumped for a new album.

The crowd at the show was a bit unusual I thought I would have seen more fans around 30 years old or so but it was such a mix of all age groups from young to old – and it was nice to see the love for great music.

Fastball opened the show and played a great six song set which wrapped up with their hit single “The Way”. Vertical Horizon played a killer set as well with songs that included “Best I ever had” and they brought all the energy as you would expect and kept the crowd rocking. Gin Blossoms hit the stage third who was always a band that I wanted to see and now I had the chance – they put on a great show and lead singer, Robin Wilson, really got the crowd going and his interaction really got everyone involved which always makes the live show way better. The Gin Blossoms, with a new band member lineup, was able to deliver without a hitch and played hits that included “Follow You Down” and others.

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Mark McGrath, who emceed some of the show between sets, hit the stage with Sugar Ray – I actually never realized how many hits they had and it really was one after another like “Someday”, “When it’s over” and of course “Fly” — they also spiced things up a bit with a cover of Violent Femmes, “Blister in the Sun”. Mark is really an amazing performing and has some amazing stage presence — after all he has been doing this for over 25-years. II always had the latest Sugar Ray albums including Self-Titled, Floored, 14:59 and other albums even Music for Cougar, the band’s sixth studio album— which even though was not as big of a hit as previous albums, it still hit 80 on the Top 200 Billboard charts — which If I was in a band I would not mind at all. Mark really has tons of energy, loves interacting with the crowd and the band sounded just like the albums which is sometimes hard to find these days in live shows.

Headliners, Smash Mouth, known for singles like “All-star”, “Walking on the Sun” and others took to the stage around 10pm and brought out all the hits and the crowd loved it. Energetic, jumping, dancing and singing along with Steve and the band for the entire set. Smash Mouth was yet another band I didn’t realize how many hits and songs they had – it was really awesome getting to see them perform and having all the songs come right back to you like you were listening to the album just yesterday on my Discman. Smash Mouth also sounded exactly like the albums, sound was great and the pure energy delivered to the crowd was unbelievable — yup they still got it!

Getting to see acts like this is always fun, and getting to see them at a more intimate sized local venue, like the Stone Pony, makes the experience 100 times better. Overall the show was great, the bands played what the audience wanted to hear and getting to see these bands in one show was a great opportunity. I recommend checking local tour dates for the Under The Sun tour and check out the show near you. I can easily give the show 5 stars and one Damn Good Review!

 

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