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Everclear at Freedom Hill -- Three things to know

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Friday, September 2, 2016

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Four years ago, Everclear and Sugar Ray launched Summerland, a tour showcasing 90s modern rock favorites that was named one of the Ten Hottest Summer Package Tours of 2012 by Rolling Stone magazine.

Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath decided to go his own way after that, starting the Under The Sun package the following year. But this year the group is back in the fold -- and closing the show with the blessing of Everlear's Art Alexakis, who's continued to keep Summerland going in its absence with fellow 90s hitmakers such as Live, Soul Asylum, Filter and Detroit's own Sponge.

Here's three things to know about Summerland as summer 2016 winds down...

Despite fan speculation, Alexakis and McGrath were never on the outs with each other. "Me and Mark have always gotten along. We didn't have problems," Alexakis, 54, says by phone from his home in California. "After the first year he wanted to do something a little different so we talked and I jsut went, 'Dude, this is my thing. Go do your thing,' and after not even five seconds of silence he goes, 'Yeah, cool, man. Still want to have breakfast next week?' 'Yeah.' It never affected our personal relationship."

Sugar Ray's return came after Alexakis heard McGrath had no plans to tour this summer. He also wanted to change the tour up again after last year's heavy-hitting lineup that included Fuel, American Hi-Fi and the Toadies. "I heard (Sugar Ray) wasn't going on tour, I said, 'Dude, come out and be a rock star. I'll pay you this much money. you come out and headline Summerland this year. We'll get Lit and Sponge and let's go out and do a 50-minute set and kick some butt and just have fun.' He didn't want to do meet and greets and stuff like that; He just wanted to go out and play the shows, and he's killed it every night, man."

After Summerland Alexakis plans to put Everclear on hold for a minute in order to record a solo album. "It's just me and a guitar; 'Nebraska'-esque, if you will," he explains, citing Bruce Springsteen's start 1982 release. "It's starting to find itself. I've got about five songs that are almost ready to record and about three more that are halfway there and five ides that are about a quarter of the way there. I can't really talk about it much but I'm feeling pretty strong about it. I think I'll have it done and out next year."

Summerland Tour featuring Sugar Ray, Everclear, Lit and Sponge

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3.

Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights.

Tickets are $20-$65 pavilion, $20 lawn with a $60 lawn four-pack.

Call 586-268-5100 or visit palacenet.com.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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