Summerland Sizzled In Corpus Christi, Texas

August 18, 2016
Concrete Street Amphitheater- Corpus Christi, TX

     Thursday, August 18, 2016 was smoldering hot, as the Summerland tour rolled into the Sparkling City by the Bay. Fans of all ages gathered outside the front gates of Concrete Street Amphitheater, waiting patiently as the hot Texas sun bore down upon the face & shoulders of each person standing in line… The V.I.P section filed into the venue early, with those who paid for the “Meet & Greet.” The lines filled up quickly with anxious & excited fans. It wasn’t long before the gates opened for everyone & people began entering the iconic venue in rows of six, each person with a different agenda for that moment. People headed in the direction of concession, others to the merch-centers, while many went directly towards the stage for & up-close and personal view of the evening’s performers. 90’s Alternative Rock played over the P.A. while the tranquil fans mingled about the venue floor. Chatter from all around the locale could be heard from every direction. One man leans to his friend and said “I’ve been trying to see these bands since High school.” His friend replied: “Dude, we’re old!” As an older gentleman with a large white beard passed by them pushing his beautifully tattooed wife in her wheelchair to meet up with her family. The music began to fade along with the lights. Art Alexakis’s unmistakable voice came over the P.A. welcoming everyone to Summerland 2016. Immediately the fans began cheering with excitement as Alexakis pumped the crowd up for the evenings first performance.

JHW_1833 90’s Post Grunge Band Sponge, opened the evening, beginning the night with the band’s 1996 debut single, off their 2nd studio album, title track Wax Ecstatic (To Sell Angelina). The single garnered major radio play peaking at #15 on the US Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks. And #11 on US Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks The song begins with some heavy wining guitar before the whole band kicks in rocking the stage to the core. The audience in attendance took to the song immediately, rocking out to the Billboard hit right along with the band, every step of the way. Sponge continues right along with another hit single, Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain… The classic rock hit began, and the familiar riffs & lyrics rung a bell in the minds of the crowd. Sending them back to their 1994 youth of flannel shirts, holy jeans & Dr. Martin. Molly (16 Candles) peaked at #3 on US Billboards Modern Rock Tracks) While their debut album Rotting Piñata peaked at #4 on Billboard’s Heatseekers… The band continued rocking the crowd with Jump while the House is on Fire; The Whores Are Closing in & ending their amazing set yet another hit single Plowed. Plowed, found its way to peaking at #5 on Billboard’s US Modern Rock tracks and gaining the band even more radio play. During the ending of this phenomenal song, lead vocalist Vinnie Dombrowski found himself standing on the barrier singing directly to some fans just beyond the rail; the final lyrics to Plowed.

In a world of human wreckage; In a world of human wreckage. Where I’m lost and I’m found and I can’t touch the ground. I’m plowed into the sound. Will I wake up? Some dream I made up No, I guess it’s reality!”

Sponge left the stage as the fans cheered them on loudly. The stagehands came onto the stage and began removing the bands gear. A few of the fans broke off from the crowd to make way towards the restrooms & more concession as the South Texas humidity revealed itself in the form of perspiration on the faces of all in attendance… Time ticked away slowly as it always does when forced to wait while having a good time. But before anyone knew it, Art Alexakis was on stage playing hype-man to the crowd, keeping their energy electric for the band that’s to play next. The stage darkened as Tupac’s California began playing over the loud speakers, female fans throughout the crowd began dancing to the classic 90’s jam… Lit, made their way onto the stage one by one as the crowd cheered louder & louder. The band opened up their set with Welcome to the Party; a subtle hint at a new album and definitely the right song choice to open a set up with as the crowd became unhinged when the brand new post punk single unfolded before the crowd via the bands phenomenally seasoned experience. Directly after the band played Zip-Lock & Back with You before sending the crowd screaming with their hit single MiserableMiserable, the 3rd single of the band’s 2nd studio album peaked at #3 on the US Billboards Modern Rock Tracks, in 1999 & early 2000’s after being on heavy rotation & dropped to #29 on US Billboards Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks. But on this night the song was played like it was the first time the world had heard the phenomenal 1999 hit. In succession and with a mission in mind, Lit continued on with Fast; Four & ending their night with My Own Worst Enemy…

My Own Worst Enemy peaked in the 3rd slot on U.S. Billboard’s Alternative Song Chart. Jay Popoff addressed the crowd just before the song kicked off, publicly thanking the fans, the bands & crew. Popoff then stepped onto the speaker stacks in the photo-pit and spoke directly to the fans (all the while the beginning riffs to My Own Worst Enemy were being fingered by Jay’s brother Jeremy Popoff)“I want you guys to… Take your clothes off; Do whatever it is you’ve gotta fuckin’ do. Just have a fuckin-party! COME ON!!” Jay then took off running towards the drum riser climbing atop to jump off in time for all the instruments to come in full throttle. Midway through the Billboard hit, Jay Popoff took off into the crowd to finish singing the hit & some much needed crowd interaction, which played off well to the enthusiastic fans. Jay Popoff made it back onto the stage, thanked JHW_2476everyone in attendance & the band made their way backstage under a barrage of cheers… After the stagehands removed Lit’s equipment & a little time passed, Mark McGrath came onto the stage calm, cool, collective & very suave asking how everybody’s evening has been going. The crowd screams in excitement thrusting their hands into the air some with phones in hand, others with their fists high in the air. Women and men alike screaming like it was their first time. McGrath after asking the fans how they felt about the previous acts, introduced the fans to the next act…

One by one the members of Everclear made it on the stage. As energetic as ever, the band opened up with their 1997 title track So Much for the Afterglow. Peaking at #3, the album wrought 4 singles each respectfully garnering major airplay in the late 90’s continuing to solidify the Everclear band, brand with their fans. Rocking the post-punk ditty, Everclear played in-time and on-point; as the crowd sung right along with Art Alexakis, verbatim. Everclear continued knocking the crowd dead, with three more hits off the 1997 album like Everything to Everyone; Father of Mine & I Will Buy You a New Life… Each single peaking & holding down spots in the single digits from 97-98. Everclear continued delighting the fans with their delectable sound cranking out hit-single after hit-single. Driving the crowd wild with Wonderful; Heroin Girl; Amphetamine & A.M. Radio before killing their set with the bands #1 hit single Santa Monica. The hit single stayed over three weeks atop Billboard’s Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks in 1996. The crowd cheered Everclear on as they took their bow, and made way off the stage leaving the crowd as electric as ever while they awaited the nights headlining performance…

Sugar Ray hit the stage, with Mark McGrath in toe and admittedly a little tipsy. But that didn’t stop him from performing an amazing set of songs we all grew up to & loving. Mark McGrath began talking to the fans; engaging in one-sided conversation with everyone about Corpus Christi & asked the audience if they knew the #1 beach song of 1999, leading right into SomedaySomeday spent some considerable time on the US Billboard’s Hot 100 peaking at #7.  While performing the hit single, McGrath darted from stage left to stage right as vigorously as he did in all the phenomenal videos the band put out in the mid-late 90’s. After the song, lead vocalist McGrath spoke to the crowd again briefly before moving right into the set some more with Answer the Phone; Every Morning; What the World Needs; The crowd responded well to Mark McGrath’s drunken humor in between songs. Especially when he reenacted his part in Sharknado II. Though he seemed to ramble on a bit too much he still continued his show pleasing the crowd every step of the way. Knocking them out with When It’s Over; and a kick ass cover of E.M.F.’s Unbelievable; Mean Machine/ Blitzkrieg Bop & killing the night with Fly. Fly was Sugar Ray’s first #1 hit, holding its spot for four consecutive weeks in a row…  Knocking the song dead the crowd cheered, danced & sung along as Sugar Ray played this amazing hit.

Despite the heat & Humidity, this was amazing show, and the best Summerland tour since Everclear rolled into town with Live, Filter & Sponge in 2013… Summerland 2016 gets a 10/10.

Review by: Jared Wingate 




Sugar Ray