Everclear’s Art Alexakis Talks Catharsis of Live Music’s Return, Previews Summerland Tour Return to Billy Bob’s

Everclear brings their Summerland Tour back to Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth on Friday, July 9th. Living Colour, Hoobastank, and Wheatus support. 

Having warmed up with several one-off shows in preparation for the Summerland Tour, Everclear frontman Art Alexakis knows that fans need live music, just as much as the band. “It sounds like I’m being melodramatic; but seriously, just hearing my drummer play rock and roll drums those first couple of shows, I mean, people would walk in during soundcheck or whatever, it might just be like dudes caught in the headlights because there’s this primal thing that we’ve been missing. I think it is a catharsis. It is a release and it’s great to see.”

Debuting in 2012, Everclear’s Summerland tour is often defined by press as a “90’s Nostalgia Tour.” Indeed, this years line-up is stacked with so-called “90’s” bands. The always fabulous Living Colour, along with Hoobastank and Wheatus, join Everclear on this years voyage. But, Alexakis agrees “nostalgia” is a tricky term. “It’s a rock and roll tour of bands from an era that, for a lot of people, [they] still find it valid. You might find it nostalgic, but I don’t think that defines it. I think some nostalgia is really healthy. I really do. I think it’s fun and healthy and it makes us feel good and safe and all that good stuff.” What’s most important to Alexakis isn’t what decade the bands came from, rather the quality of those bands and what drives them to continue making and playing music. “I refuse to be with bands that won’t play their hits, bands don’t really play shows other than when a big offer comes in. I want bands that are out there still chasing the carrot, still playing rock and roll because that’s all they know how to do. That’s what I want. That’s what rock and roll is to me. I do this because I don’t want to do anything else.” 

As for returning to Fort Worth, Alexakis says “We’re stoked to be coming back to Billy Bob’s, are you kidding me? This is, I think eight years that we played Summerland, I think five of them we played Billy Bob’s, so that’s pretty great. That whole Fort Worth area, it’s really cool, the stock yards and everything. Willie Nelson used to do his fourth of July barbecue there and we did that one year and that was a lot of fun. For a rock band, we get a lot of attention from people in country places, which makes a lot of sense. I grew up with country music. I think there’s definitely some of that twang in my voice.” Of course over a handful of decades as a successful touring band, Alexakis has a warm spot in his heart for Dallas-Fort Worth. “Playing the Bomb Factory, playing Bronco Bowl, playing Trees, Dallas was always one of my favorite places to play, crowds were great, they loved us there,” he tells us fondly. 

Whether it’s nostalgia or your enduring love for any of the bands on this years Summerland tour, Friday night is a chance to return to some sense of normalcy. Whether or not you want to pretend it’s 1995 is entirely up to you. Rock and roll is the here and now. 

Grab tickets for the Summerland Tour at Billy Bob’s here

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