On Stage: Everclear celebrating 30 years with show at the Keswick

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times


If music fans looked at the Marquee of the Keswick Theater (291 N. Keswick Avenue, Glenside, 215-572-7650, www.keswicktheatre.com) for a show on June 23, they might think they had stepped into a time machine and been transported back to the mid-1990s.

The show’s headliner is Everclear – a band that released its first album, “World of Noise,” in 1993 and had its first hit single, “Santa Monica,” in 1995.

This tour, which got underway on June 6 in Emmitt, Idaho, is billed as “Everclear – the 30th Anniversary Tour 2022.”

The opening acts on the bill are The Nixons and Fastball.

The Nixons are a rock band formed in 1989 in Oklahoma City who put out their debut EP, “Sox,” in 1992.  The band is best known for the hit single, “Sister.” Fastball is a rock band that formed in Austin, Texas in 1995. In 1998, their album, “All the Pain Money Can Buy,” reached platinum sales within six months of its release and stayed on the Billboard 200 chart for a year.

They are nice openers but – make no mistake – this is Everclear’s celebratory tour.

To celebrate 30 years as a band, Everclear – Art Alexakis (vocals, guitar), Davey French (guitar), Freddy Herrera (bass), Brian Nolan (drums) – is heading out on a 25-plus date North American 30th Anniversary Tour. The setlist for this year’s tour will run the gamut of Everclear’s longstanding career including songs from “World Of Noise,” B-sides, fan favorites and all the hits.

“It’s a mixed-up set list,” said Alexakis, during a phone interview last Thursday from a tour stop in Waco, Texas.

“We’re doing three songs from ‘World of Noise’ and one of the bonus tracks.  We’re doing some songs from ‘Sparkle and Fade’ (Everclear’s sophomore album in 1995). We’re putting a lot of old songs in the set list.

“It’s nice that we’ve been getting younger audiences since even before COVID. It’s increased since then because kids had nothing to dio during COVID except look for different music to listen to.

“There have been a lot of kids up front at our shows – rocking out and singing the words. They look to the 90s – the last time rock and roll was exciting. The 90s really put guitars up front in rock. The musicians from that era – we all grew up in the 70s listening to Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Cheap Trick.

“When Nirvana hit, fans said – hey, that’s what Art has been doing for years. I also was influence by hip hop and R&B…it’s there.

“Some people refer to us as an alternative band. I don’t know about alternative. If you want alternative – things that are different – then you should look at The Residents, Captain Beefheart, Sonic Youth and John Coltrane. Coltrane really pushed the envelope. With Everclear, we just play rock and roll.”

On June 10, “World Of Noise – 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition” was released and marked the first time the currently out-of-print album is available on all digital music streaming platforms. The fully remastered edition features all 12 original tracks plus six bonus songs including the previously unreleased, “Drunk Again,” and an unreleased remix of, “Nervous & Weird.”

According to Alexakis, “‘World Of Noise’ has never been available digitally before because the masters reverted back to me several years before streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music came about. So now I’m finally going to release it digitally for the first time and do a vinyl pressing that includes some old demos and stuff. It’ll be fun for the hardcore fans. I’m excited for everyone to get a chance to listen to this rarity of ours that really set the stage for this incredible career.”

Since forming in 1992, Everclear has enjoyed a lengthy career by any measure, spanning 11 studio releases, including four that have been certified Gold or Platinum, selling over six million records, and achieving 12 Top 40 Hit Singles on Mainstream Rock, Alternative, and Adult Top 40 radio, including “Santa Monica,” “Father of Mine,” “I Will Buy You A New Life,” “Wonderful” and “Everything To Everyone,” as well as numerous videos, thousands of shows, and various other accolades, including a 1998 Grammy nomination.

“I made 11 albums and I don’t know if I’ll ever make another one,” said Alexakis, who also is studying in college for a psychology degree in life coaching. “I just did a couple singles. And I want to continue making videos.”

Three decades into his musical journey, Alexakis doesn’t plan on slowing down, despite the toll that the years, the substances, and now his recent battles with multiple sclerosis (MS) have taken on his frame.

“Energy is a problem – MS and fatigue that comes out of it,” said Alexakis. “I maintain a good diet and watch what I eat. And having enthusiasm helps.”

Alexakis is happy with his three decades in music.

According to the veteran musician, “To me, it’s a reason for celebration. I’m 60 years old. I’ve got MS. I’ve been through the ringer—a lot of it I put myself through—but I’m still here. The music’s still here. Everclear is still here.

“Everclear is my band — it always has been. Its faces have changed, but the music stays the same. We’ve got a great band now. We’re tight as hell, we all love and respect each other, and we just go out and put on the best show we can every night. I’m blessed that I get to do this for a living and am truly grateful for my life.”

Alexakis belongs on stage – fronting the band that has brought him so much happiness and success.

“I’m the guy who made these records and videos,” said Alexakis. “I’m still jumping around.”

Video link for Everclear — https://youtu.be/A0habF0qy3o.

The show at the Keswick Theatre on June 23 will start at 8 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $20-$70.

Other upcoming shows at the Keswick Theatre are “Music of Cream” on June 24 and the Fab Faux on June 25.

Over the years, the huge arenas in the South Philly sports complex have hosted a number of Cirque du Soleil extravaganzas and many ice spectacles such as Disney On Ice and Ice Capades.


This week, the Wells Fargo Center (3601 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, www.wellsfargocenterphilly.com) will host a show that is a combination of both – Cirque du Soleil’s new production “Crystal.”

“Crystal” is not just an ice show, it’s the very first experience on ice from Cirque du Soleil.

“Ice shows had been around for a while, but we saw a format that would work for us,” said “Crystal” Artistic Director Robert Tannion during a phone interview last week.

“This show was created in 2017 by Shana Carroll & Sébastien Soldevila. I came in to be Artistic Director in the middle of 2019.”

Audiences will be able to watch world-class ice skaters and acrobats claim their new frozen playground with speed and fluidity as they challenge the laws of gravity with never-before-seen acrobatics. A new kind of performance as Cirque du Soleil meets the ice to defy all expectations.
Crystal, the show’s misfit heroine, takes the audience on an exhilarating tale of self-discovery as she dives into a world of her own imagination. Audience members can feel the adrenaline as she soars through this surreal world to become what she was always destined to be — confident, curious, and creative.

“Crystal” features astounding visual projections and a soundtrack that seamlessly blends popular music with the signature sound of Cirque du Soleil.

Cirque du Soleil’s new spectacular features an international cast featuring acrobats, musicians and comic characters along with multi-talented skaters. Gymnasts and skaters perform acrobatics on the ice and in the air, combining the two disciplines together.

Synchronized skating, freestyle figures, and extreme skating are featured alongside circus disciplines such as swinging trapeze, aerial straps, and hand-to-hand balancing.

The storyline focuses on a young girl named Crystal. Crystal is an eccentric young woman with a charming quirkiness and a restless imagination.

Crystal is a misfit with her head in the clouds — a dreamer looking for something more in her life. One day, feeling misunderstood and out of sync with the world, she ventures out on a frozen pond and falls through the ice. In this underwater world of her own imagination, she has a vision. She sees a reflection of herself – her alter ego – that guides her, showing her a distorted version of her life.

Crystal’s reflection is Crystal’s shadow self – a dark yet helpful side of her personality that enables her to access her strengths and creativity. The shadow Crystal carries inside her – which usually appears as a separate, distinct entity in the underwater world – is more mischievous and headstrong than she is, encouraging her to take control of her life. The Shadows represent the forces within her subconscious mind that pull all the strings of her life, either helping her along or hindering her progress.

Feeling misunderstood in her everyday life, she ultimately finds her footing and turns her quirks into a creative force, radically changing her own narrative through her writing. Her Reflection tries to wake her up to her own genius and creativity. It gives her a pen, and she begins to find her voice with it.

Through her writing, Crystal releases the potential of her hidden talent and transforms the world around her with stroke of her pen. Having summoned the strength to face reality, Crystal ultimately breaks through the ice, stronger than ever.

In this show, Crystal is looking at things from fresh angles, peeking through the veneer of everyday life, reframing one’s daily reality to see what one might have missed. Sometimes the only way to appreciate things is to look at them sideways. Discovering one’s individuality and uniqueness requires venturing out on thin ice.

“Thenshowmpremiered in 2017,” said Tannion, a native if Brisbane, Australia. “We’ve played more than 100 cities and have been seen by just over 1.8 million people. And we’re just getting started.”

Video link for Cirque du Soleil’s “Crystal” — https://youtu.be/Ig2gKhoGbDk.

The show at the Wells Fargo Center will run from June 24-26. Ticket prices range from $49-$169.

Usually, when people are getting ready to head out on a multi-week trip, they spend the night before the departure finalizing preparations and getting a good night’s sleep.

David Uosikkinen’s scenario this week is just the opposite.

In The Pocket

On June 26, Uosikkinen, who is the drummer for The Hooters, will depart for Europe where he and his Hooters bandmates will do a six-week tour of Germany with additional shows in a few other European countries.

On June 25, Uosikkinen will bring his Philly area supergroup In the Pocket to the Valley Forge area to perform a concert as part of the Upper Merion Township’s “Concerts Under the Stars Series” (Upper Merion Township Park, King of Prussia, concertsunderthestarskop.com).

“The 25th is like a sendoff,” said Uosikkinen, during a phone interview last week. “I’m headed to Europe the next day with The Hooters.

“It’s a really big tour – Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden. We’ll be playing three days on and one day off. This will be our first post-pandemic tour of Europe – but we were in Switzerland for a one-off in March.”

For the last four decades, Uosikkinen has been the drummer for the Hooters, one of Philadelphia’s all-time favorite bands.

Uosikkinen has also recorded and performed with Alice Cooper, Rod Stewart, Cyndi Lauper, Taj Mahal and Patty Smyth, as well as with many other emerging artists. In addition, he has performed on extensive international tours, including Live Aid, Amnesty International and Roger Waters’ “The Wall” in Berlin.

In 2010, he formed his own band, David Uosikkinen’s In The Pocket to bring awareness to music education and to pay homage to all of the great music that has come out of Philadelphia. For his In the Pocket project — both live and in the studio — Uosikkinen uses a revolving lineup of Philadelphia’s most celebrated musicians to perform covers of tunes from Philly’s rich rock music history.

In The Pocket has recorded 20 classic Philadelphia songs and two CDs – “Live” and “Sessions.”

“The last thing we did was ‘Young Americans,’” said Uosikkinen.

“When I produce any song for In the Pocket, I grab a cool group of guys and do sessions. I do it old school with everybody playing together.”

The musicians are so talented that they are able to meld together on stage without any elaborate preparations.

“Everybody in In The Pocket is so good,” said Uosikkinen. “We have Tommy Conwell playing with us for this show. Kenn Kweder is playing as is John Faye, Quentin Jones, John Faye, Ben Arnold, Zou Zou Mansour and Greg Sover.”

Some of the other in the Pocket regulars are Wally Smith (Smash Palace, Crosstown Traffic), Richard Bush (The A’s), Steve Butler (Smash Palace), Greg Davis (Beru Revue), Joey DiTullio (JDT), Pete Donnelly (Figgs, NRBQ), Buddy Cash, Ben Arnold, Cliff Hillis, Graham Alexander, and Pete Donnelly.

The exact line-up will be revealed under the stars in Upper Merion.

“It’s just a lot of fun doing this,” said Uosikkinen. “I was hoping to do one more show before The Hooters’ tour. I’ll just have to do it when I get back. I want to play a tribute to George Thorogood.

“For the Upper Merion show, there will be 23 of us playing together including a horn section. Ben Arnold will open with an acoustic set, and then we’ll play a set somewhere between 90 and 120 minutes long.”

Video link for In The Pocket – https://www.youtube.com/embed/2-oxbxsSW40.

The show in King of Prussia, which has Ben Arnold as the opening act, will start at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $20.

“LIVE AT THE FILLMORE: The Definitive Tribute To The Original Allman Brothers Band” will be performing on June 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center (226 North High Street, West Chester, https://uptownwestchester.org) as part of the venue’s tribute band series.

“We’ve played at the Uptown every year for the last five years – except for the pandemic year in 2020,” said band leader/founder/guitarist/vocalist Lew Maresca, during a phone interview from his home in Wynnewood. “I think we were the first rock band to play there back in 2017.”

The band’s members have changed some over the years – which is not a surprise to Maresca.

“As time goes by, familiarity breeds contempt,” said Maresca. “There is a lot of ego and narcissism among musicians – a lot of personality conflicts.

“I don’t run LATF as a democracy. It’s more like a monarchy and I’m the king. It’s my band and I maintain very high standards. Anyone who has heard the band play in the last year says that this is the best line-up ever.

“I brought Joe Mass in as the Dickey Betts guitarist and he’s taking it to microscopic levels of exactness. The band also has Don McCormick and Anthony Zinni on drums, Jeff Quattro on Hammond B3, piano, and vocals and Mike Graziola on bass.

Musically and sonically, LATF creates the experience of hearing one of the greatest live bands of all time as they sounded in 1969-1971. Particularly featured are their monumental shows at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East Auditorium in New York City in March and June of 1971.

LIVE AT THE FILLMORE has become the most popular and best-known tribute to the original Allman Brothers Band. Great attention is paid to recreating the music with an unparalleled degree of authenticity. The band has been chosen as featured performer on the Time Life Southern Rock Cruise. It received rave reviews for their Spring 2017 performance on national TV as part of AXS TV’s “World’s Greatest Tribute Bands.”

“Live at the Fillmore has been around for more than a decade,” said Maresca. “We started back in 2009 because we knew how many Allman Brothers fans there were.

“I saw the Allman Brothers in their original state many, many times including the Fillmore in March 1971 and the very last show they did at the Fillmore on Saturday night June 26, 1971. That was the one the Allman Brothers called ‘The Show.’

“I put a band together in 1971 called Skydog. I was in high school at the time. Skydog was the very first Allman Brothers tribute band. I went to Penn State and played all through college.”

Years went by and Maresca relocated to Philadelphia where he established a career in audio production and custom messaging.

“I’ve been in Philly since I graduated from Penn State,” said Maresca, who originally is from Nutley, New Jersey. “I wanted to put together another Allman Brother attribute band. I was looking for the best guys I could find who could play the music.”

With LIVE AT THE FILLMORE, fans get Allman Brothers music and nothing else.

“We’re a tribute band at the highest level,” said Maresca. “The hallmark of this band is its authenticity. We’re here to imitate not to innovate. Our physical appearance has never been important. It’s all about the music. When we play, we sound like the original Allman Brothers.”

Video link for “LIVE AT THE FILLMORE: The Definitive Tribute To The Original Allman Brothers Band” – https://youtu.be/vn0nr2WoWmc.

The show at the Uptown on June 25 will start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40.

The Village of Arden is a small area of homes in northern Delaware that has a very distinctive vibe.

Every house has a different style – most with an artistic flair. There is a dinner theater with an annual schedule of top-caliber shows. There is a Gild Hall that hosts concerts and pot-luck dinners. A comfortable, spacious pool sits aside the Gild Hall. And The Village hosts craft fairs and other outdoor events.

If it seems like an ideal place to attend a concert by a band with a bright name and lively music, it is.

On June 26, the Arden Gild Hall (2126 The Highway, Arden, Delaware, www.ardenconcerts.com) will present a concert by the aptly-named Mr. Sun.

If you haven’t heard of the Americana supergroup Mr. Sun, you’ve certainly heard its proponents — four of the finest musicians on the American Roots scene

The band’s line-up features: renowned fiddler Darol Anger, Professor Emeritus at Berklee College of Music, who has released dozens of influential solo albums in addition to his work with David Grisman and Mike Marshall, and founded the Turtle Island Quartet, Psychograss, and Republic of Strings; Joe K. Walsh, mandolin virtuoso and vocalist who spent four years with the award-winning bluegrass act the Gibson Brothers before becoming a solo artist, songwriter, and Strings Department Professor at Berklee; all-around guitar genius Grant Gordy, a former member of David Grisman’s band and respected solo artist and educator; and the phenomenal Scots bassist Aidan O’Donnell, who has backed harpist Maeve Gilchrist and countless modern jazz heroes.

“We’re coming up on 10 years as a band – on-and-off,” said Anger, during a phone interview last week from his home in Nashville, Tennessee.

“It’s an intergenerational group. I have 20 years on these guys. We’re connected by all kinds of musical streams.

“It feels like anew band whenever we play together. There is always so much progress.”

Mr. Sun features three generations of some of the sharpest minds to apply themselves to the American String Band.

Anger has performed and taught all over the world with musicians such as Dr. Billy Taylor, Bela Fleck, Bill Evans, Edgar Meyer, Bill Frisell, David Grisman, Tony Rice, Tim O’Brien, The Anonymous 4, Marin Alsop and the Cabrillo Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, Mark O’Connor, and Stephane Grappelli.

He is at home in a number of musical genres, some of which he helped to invent, and is a member of the original “nuclear” generation of pickers who extended Bluegrass, Jazz, and Classical music to find their common ground. Mr. Sun is the latest iteration in that legacy.

“When I was 21, I started playing with David Grisman and Tony Rice,” said Anger. “I learned so much. They were people ho really developed their own individual sound. That is definitely true with Mr. Sun too.

“It comes out of people just being themselves. With us, there is a lot of interaction. It’s a talk show and we talk through our instruments.”

Grant Gordy is a standout in the crowded field of Acoustic Guitar Wunderkinds. His work has been widely recognized for its kaleidoscopic excellence and startling emotion, fusing Jazz and Bluegrass concepts to an unprecedented degree.  Assuming the guitarist role in the fabled David Grisman Quintet, a spot previously held by such notables as Tony Rice, Mark O’Connor, Frank Vignola and Mike Marshall, has confirmed Gordy as a pre-eminent young voice on acoustic guitar.

“Grant and I shared some time playing with David Grisman, the father of recombinant bluegrass,” said Anger. “What we play is a continuation of that – bluegrass, blues, pop music, eastern European, classical and Hot Club.”

Joe K. Walsh is one of the foremost contemporary mandolinists, with four award-winning years in the Gibson Brothers, three solo recordings, and a Berklee professorship. He’s toured with countless artists, collaborated with other master musicians, founded progressive string band Joy Kills Sorrow in the early 2000s, and is currently on faculty at the prestigious Berklee College of Music.

“Joe is one of those people who have been in the scene for years,” said Anger. “He’s a great picker who teaches mandolin at Berklee.”

Aidan O’Donnell hails from Glasgow, Scotland. He completed a BA in jazz performance at Birmingham Conservatoire, where he won the prize for Most Promising Performer and was made an Honorary Fellow. He moved to London, where he quickly became one of the most in-demand bassists on the scene.

In 2008, with the aid of a grant from the Scottish Arts Council, he relocated to New York. Since then, he has established himself as a much sought-after bassist, working with such notable musicians as Steve Kuhn, Ben Monder, David Berkman, Darol Anger, Maeve Gilchrist and many more. In addition to this he took his MA in jazz performance at City College, where he studied with John Patitucci.

“Aidan played with just about every jazz group that came through London,” said Anger. “He is an amazing bass player who can play any kind of music.”

Mr. Sun is constantly growing and expanding its horizon.

“We’re working on composing originals,” said Anger. “The band is progressing in a really interesting way. There is a deeper and more emotional level with the music. We’re just having fun and making rhythms. We’re all on the same page.”

Video link for Mr. Sun — https://youtu.be/0y_5vnOyEEw.

The Arden Gild Hall show, which has High and Wides as the opening act, will start at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $23.

The quaint village of Arden has two sections that straddle Grubb Road. The Arden Gild Hall is located in the southern section.

More good entertainment can be found this weekend in the northern section at a comfortable dinner theater.

The Candlelight Theater (2208 Millers Road, Arden, Delaware, 302- 475-2313, www.candlelighttheatredelaware.org) has arrived at the final weekend of its third production run of 2022. “Clue On Stage” is running now through June 26.

“Clue: On Stage” is adapted from the Paramount Pictures film written by Jonathan Lynn and the board game from Hasbro, Inc. written by Sandy Rustin.

It’s a dark and stormy night, and you’ve been invited to a very unusual dinner party.

Each of the guests has an alias, the butler offers a variety of weapons, and the host is, well . . . dead. When their host turns up dead, they all become suspects. Led by Wadsworth the butler, Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, and Colonel Mustard race to find the killer as the body count stacks up.

The play is a hilarious farce-meets-murder mystery that will leave both cult-fans and newcomers in stitches as they try to figure out…WHO did it, WHERE, and with WHAT!”

“Clue On Stage” is a madcap comedy that will keep audiences guessing until the final twist.

“Clue On Stage” is running now through June 26 at the Candlelight Theatre. Tickets, which include dinner, beverages and dessert, are $65.50 for adults and $33 for children (ages 4-12).

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