Land of Illusions hosted Everclear, The Verve Pipe and Trevor Ohlsen this past Saturday! It was a show that went beyond my expectations.
In full disclosure, I had never heard of Trevor prior to Saturday night. There was a lineup change somewhere and another 90’s alternative band was supposed to be on stage. When I arrived at the venue, I was given a schedule and the lineup and assumed that Trevor was an obscure 90’s artist that was outside of my scope during my teenage years. In typical fashion, I was wrong.
Rather, I find a 22-year old alone on a stage armed with a guitar and a silky-smooth voice reminiscent of Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, and G. Love. You can see and hear the love he has for music and conveys great energy towards the crowd. Even though the crowd was diminutive due to Hell-like heat, the audience were adorned with smiles and grooving along to the acoustic set.
After the show I discovered that Trevor had, in large part, amassed a cult-like following all by himself through social media and good old-fashioned hard work. Hailing from Iron Mountain, Michigan, he is deep into a regional tour and quickly gaining an audience across the Midwest. His new self-titled album is available on all streaming and digital outlets with some videos floating around on YouTube.
I started high school in 1994. I mention this because I want to make sure you understand where I am coming from in this review. Being 14 in 1994 was odd (granted being 14 any year is probably odd). Music from the 80’s was still relevant, grunge and post-grunge were huge genres, pop dance music and boy/girl-bands were coming into the scene, and there was a lot of alternative everywhere. A lot.
For the sake of your time I will simply say that, for me, at that time, The Verve Pipe were drowned out as classified as “college radio” alternative which was an area I didn’t care for. All of this leads to this one statement: I wasn’t excited nor cared about seeing The Verve Pipe on Saturday. Frankly, they haven’t been on my radar in 20+ years and I kept saying I was going to see “Vertical Horizon.” This is all said for you to understand the weight of this next statement.
The Verve Pipe were absolutely amazing.
I left this show feeling like I’ve missed out for the past two decades based on the insight of my 14-year old self. The energy conveyed by the band really sucked in and watched them smile the entire time on stage. As most people know there are bands that play the same songs over and over and become genuinely bored with the music, especially with hit songs. I didn’t get any sense of this at all from any of the band and felt like they were all in love with the songs now in the same way they were in the 90’s.
I highly recommend seeing The Verve Pipe live the next time they are in the area. In the meantime, a visit to their discography is definitely in order. I’ve spent the past two days catching myself up. In the event that the band is reading this, I feel an apology is in order for shunning you guys for so long. Thank you for the great show.
I feel the need to tell you this that Everclear is in my Top 5 favorite bands. From World of Noiseto Black is the New Black, Everclear has always been a staple in my playlists. So, to save you some time, the short version of this review is that the concert was great. You should make an effort to see them if you can. The long version just has a lot more words in between “Everclear” and “amazing.”
Now, I’m going to tell you right now that Everclear has always gotten a bad wrap for being questionable live when it comes to quality of the singing and playing, especially from Art. If you watch live performances on YouTube, you will find truth to this statement. A few years ago, Art Alexakis announced that he is fighting with MS and it has impacted how he approached his shows and the variable nature of his singing. One thing though that never changes is the fact Art is Everclear and each song, each note, and each word is his and he will always put 110% of his heart into making sure the audience knows this. Saturday’s show was no different.
Everclear has been touring for the past 30 years with no sign of slowing down. There have been a lot of lineup changes in the band, but it seems that the current iteration is well rounded and feed off each other. Through the course of the show there were smiles from everyone and lots of interaction with the audience. My only recommendation is that if you like Everclear or just a good old fashion rock show, then you need to make a point to see these guys live.