A Visit to Summerland 2015

Originally published in Through the Lens Magazine on July 21, 2015

Article and photos by Melodie Yvonne Ramey

FORT WAYNE, IN – The Summerland Tour is an annual 1990s music tour that started in 2012 and was created by Everclear’s Art Alexakis and Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath.  Although the Summerland tour was brimming with beautiful 90s nostalgia each of the bands brought something a little new to the table . In fact, one of the prerequisites of signing on to the tour is that all of the bands are still actively making new music.  Summerland is in its fourth year of the tour with 43 stops.  As usual, Everclear is headlining the tour, and has brought with them the incredible talents of American Hi-Fi, The Toadies, and Fuel.

American Hi-Fi opened, and got the crowd warmed up with a terrific mixture of their old and new.  The band formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1998.  They consist of vocalist Stacy Jones, guitarist Jamie Arentzen, bassist Drew Parsons, and drummer Brian Nolan.  The Break Up Song and Flavor of the Weak reminded everyone of the strong band they always have been, and Allison showed the crowd their fantastic present and future.

The Toadies followed with their own special version of the 90s revisited.  They began their career in 1989 in Fort Worth, Texas.  Currently the group consists of Vaden Todd Lewis on lead vocals and guitar, Mark Reznicek on drums, Clark Vogeler on guitar, and Doni Blair on bass.  They played many of their hits like I Come from the Water and Possum Kingdom, which both definitely have a special place in the hearts of the band’s loyal fans.  The Toadies are, of course, a band from the 90s, but even back then they were well ahead of their time with their spectacular rockabilly inspired style.  It is definitely an experience to see them live, and partake in their twisted and unique style.

Fuel stepped up to the stage bringing a fury with them that not many bands can still boast after such a long spanning career.  The group is fronted by Brett Scallions with Andy Andersson on guitar, Brad Stewart playing bass, and Shannon Boone on drums.  Every song they’ve ever released has that little bit of something special, so they’ve never fell victim to the one hit wonder syndrome.  The power they bring to the stage consistently exceeds the expectation of their fans.  It was easy to see they are loyal supporters to a fault as the entire crowd erupted in harmony with every word sang by front man, Brett Scallions.

In those last few moments before Everclear took the stage it was evident that fans were about to explode from anticipation just like the group themselves burst onto the scene in Portland, Oregon in 1991.  It goes without saying that all of the members of Everclear are brilliant musicians individually, but together they bring a charm and stage presence that no other could match.  They made sure to play all their 90s hits to satisfy the crowd, but just like the others they came prepared with some newer material to make sure that everyone knows they are still in the fight, and they’re winning.

All in all it’s definitely safe to say that Summerland was one of the best tours that has visited the Hoosier state so far in 2015. There are many talented musicians traveling the world every day, but not many bring that strong passion for their music on the road with them like the fans got to witness that night.  The concert was spectacular, and the bands are all made of charismatic and kind hearted guys that Indiana will be tickled and honored to have back year after year.

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Photo and video footage shot for Photographic Melodie by Melodie Yvonne Ramey. Shot with Nikon D800E
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