Okay, I'll admit to the same mondo-bizarro weirdness that others have expressed. It's really weird seeing different guys playing with Art.
At first, I thought the new bass player was singing the backing vox off-key. Then I realized that it was just the guy behind me that couldn't hit a note to save his life. Actually, Dave and Sam's backing vocals are solid
, probably the most noteworthy thing about the new guys. Strangely, the backing vox were especially good on "This Land Is Your Land", even if that song is just flat out bizarre. (It sounds like an Everclear song in a "Santa Monica"-strum kind of way, until you realize what song it is.)
One notable thing - most of the songs were a good bit slower than previous live shows. (Possibly even than the studio versions.) That, however, didn't stop a major mosh pit from kicking into gear during a half-speed "groove" version of "Heroin Girl". You'd think you were at a punk rock show the way those goofballs were circling and slamming. And I'm 100% serious - they even moshed during "This Land Is Your Land", which MUST be a first in the long history of that song. (This one dude with a mohawk sailed into the security pit at least twice, and acted like it was greatest thing ever.)
The ladies love Dave (new guitar player). No doubt about it.
It was a solid size audience - a solid number of people singing all of the songs. If I had to guess, I'd say there were more people there last year, but it was still a pretty good size crowd. (Admittedly, there was a Braves game running simultaneously - the post-game fireworks were going off as we left.)
On the whole - I'm not really sold on the slower versions of the songs. And I felt like they weren't quite to "perfect" yet. But it was hard to say how much of that was inexperience with the songs, the light tour schedule, or because of technical difficulties. (Their set started a good bit late because of the problems. I'll add: a good thing I didn't take my recorder, even if I could have walked in with it in my pocket. The mix was off a lot of the time.) The guys don't yet know the songs well enough to cover for when Art misses a lyric.
I didn't think much of "Glorious", but I'll admit that I have intentionally not listened to the solo MP3, so it was almost totally new to me. The sound problems (maybe?) made it sound generic, but I'll reserve judgement for the studio version (which Art apparently still hopes will be released later this year).
Oh, they had a new keyboard player. My notecard says "Josh Crawley". This was his first show, and I could tell before Art noted it. (Josh had that tentative "looking around to make sure I'm doing the right thing" look on his face for most of the show.)
The notecard also says:
Song from an American Movie, Pt 1 [Art solo] / Wonderful / Heroin Girl / Heartspark Dollarsign / Loser Makes Good / Strawberry [Art solo] / Brown Eyed Girl [Art solo] / Glorious / Volvo Driving Soccer Mom / Father of Mine / I Will Buy You a New Life // Everything to Everyone / This Land Is Your Land / Santa Monica
It would be hard (and probably unfair) for me to compare this show to the other Everclear shows I've seen. I had a good time, but I felt like I was out of sorts the whole show. It doesn't help that the show at the same venue last year was the beginning of a phenomenal weekend, so I had that on my mind most of the night. But I'll admit it was nice seeing the people around me having a great time enjoying Everclear.