In addition to Lit, these bands* reached the height of success during the ‘90s and are still putting out solid new material. Here’s a primer…
Origin: Portland, 1992
Latest album: “Invisible Stars” (2012)
Background: Singer/guitarist and songwriter Art Alexakis is the lone original member. He continues to put out Everclear albums at a steady clip. The potent “Stars” harks back to the group’s salad days by combining aggressive alt-rock with melodic pop sensibilities (“Falling in a Good Way,” “I am Better Without You”). Alexakis can also be seen in the current pay cable documentary “The Other F Word,” revolving around how fatherhood affects alt-rock musicians.
Major hits: “Santa Monica,” “Everything to Everyone,” “I Will Buy You a New Life,” “Father of Mine,” “Wonderful.”
Origin: Newport Beach, 1988
Latest album: “Music for Cougars” (2009)
Background: In recent years, Mark McGrath was more visible on TV as an “Extra” co-host and “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant than as the affable front man for this breezy alt-pop band. Sugar Ray’s ’09 effort featured a guest appearance from Donavon Frankenreiter and a Weezer cover. McGrath helped spearhead the Summerland Tour alongside Alexakis and hopes to make it an annual event. He and founding guitarist Rodney Sheppard are joined by new recruits for this concert outing.
Major hits: “Fly,” “Every Morning,” “Someday,” “When It’s Over,” “Falls Apart (Run Away)”
Origin: Tempe, Ariz., 1987
Latest album: “No Chocolate Cake” (2010)
Background: From 1992-96, this band’s easygoing blend of jangly rock and power pop blanketed the airwaves, thanks to the dominant “New Miserable Experience” and “Congratulations…I’m Sorry” discs. Breaking up in the mid-‘90s, Gin Blossoms resurfaced in the 2000s with vocalist Robin Wilson and most of the core lineup intact. “Cake” saw the musicians collaborate with Danny Wilde of The Rembrandts.
Major hits: “Hey Jealousy,” “Found Out About You,” “’Til I Hear it From You,” “Follow You Down.”
Origin: New York City, 1996
Latest album: “Lunch, Recess, Detention” (2012)
Background: Languid singer/guitarist John Wozniak and his post-grunge group struck platinum with a self-titled debut in 1997. Acoustic based rock album “Leaving Wonderland” emerged in 2009, followed by a fan-curated remix disc. “Lunch, Recess, Detention” is a retrospective collection featuring rarities, B-sides, covers (Procol Harum, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young) remixes and a handful of new tunes. It came out digitally this week and will be available on CD in July.
Major hits: “Sex & Candy,” “Saint Joe on the School Bus”
*Note: Not all bands play all dates. Go to summerlandtour.net for more info.