Everclear frontman Art Alexakis performs a solo acoustic set at Calabasas’ Canyon Club June 30.
Opening act was Liz Nash with Fausto Cuevas on percussion. Nash brings a sincere, sultry voice reminiscent of Janis Joplin. She’s an East Coast girl who has moved west and fallen in love with everything Southern California has to offer. Songs like Long Beach and Coconut Tree show a playful side of the singer.
Art Alexakis steps out with just his guitar, his emotions on his inked sleeve and a sly grin that at first he tries to hide, but later and throughout; can’t help himself and lets loose. He has an edge, and the audience — most of whom are long-time Everclear fans — are salivating for more.
When wired Alexakis controls stadiums of people with a simple look. Acoustic is often a different game, more intimate. But not tonight. Art Alexakis is a tiger hoping he doesn’t maul the crowd. Formidable and dangerous. He teases, plays, and at times, even insults them. And it only leaves these 20- , 30- and 40- somethings wanting more.
Alexakis is brutal on others, but not more than he is on himself. He speaks of his 4 marriages and consequent divorces. The trials and tribulations of dealing with his children of varying age. It seems that each lesson has the potential to turn into a new song. Therapy for him, entertainment for us.
Based on pre-show buzz, the crowd was hoping for a healthy amount of Everclear hits. His set included new songs, old favorites and even a few fun covers. American Dad is new and touches upon a maturing Alexakis. I Will Buy You a New Life is a personal favorite to many and was welcomed with cheers and screams. Later his cover of Brown-Eyed Girl brought an entire new feel and vibe to the original while holding onto the best pieces.
Art Alexakis balances incredible musical gifts with a damaged human edge that makes us all look deeper into our souls. While we raise our aims, sway back and forth, and thank him for the messages of both hope and despair that he shares.