Everclear Cut Tour Short After Onstage Scuffle

Singer and bassist's battle during performance precedes sudden cancellation of dates.

Just days before the band decided to curtail its Australian tour for "personal

reasons," Everclear's frontman Art Alexakis and bassist Craig Montoya

allegedly scuffled onstage during a gig at a university in that country's New

South Wales province, according to the show's promoter.

University of Wollongong entertainment manager Don Beale, who explained

that he was in attendance at the April 9 show, said the disagreement came after

Alexakis was hit with a shoe thrown by someone in the audience.

"He got hit with a shoe and sort-of proceeded to stop the show," the 42-year-old

Beale said. "He had a bit of a chat with the audience to quit throwing shoes,

and then he got really upset for some unknown reason, theoretically a stage

type of thing, and he got a bit shitty toward the bass player.

"Alexakis asked Montoya 'what do you want to do, I want to stop,' " Beale said,

adding, however, that the bass player wanted to keep playing. Alexakis then

shoved the bass player forcefully and walked over to the mic, threw his guitar

down onstage and walked off defiantly, he added.

The band, including Montoya, subsequently played one more show in Australia

before returning home after canceling an Australian gig and two more shows in

New Zealand.

The Portland, Ore.-based pop-rock act Everclear are currently touring the U.K.

on a two-week tour in support of their third album, the gold-selling So Much

For The Afterglow. The tour wraps up Friday. The band's bass tech, David

Loprinzo, is filling in for Montoya, who, according to band publicist Donna

Salazar, is at home recuperating from "exhaustion" and will rejoin the band for

the May 14 start of their U.S. tour with fellow pop-rockers Marcy Playground and

Fastball.

Claiming that she had heard nothing about any onstage scuffle, Salazar, from the trio's

Capitol Records label, said the band returned home early because one of the

members had to go home for personal reasons. She refused to elaborate on the

reasons or say which member needed to return early.

"I don't know where those rumors got started," Salazar said of the alleged

onstage scuffle. "That's not true. The band went home early because one of

the bandmembers had a personal situation to deal with in the States."

After Alexakis stormed off the stage, the singer did return, and the band played

an additional 20 minutes together, Beale said. But security was called to

separate bandmembers from each other backstage after the show, he added.

Everclear first burst into prominence in 1995 with the platinum-selling album

Sparkle and Fade, which surged ahead on the strength of singles such

as "Heartspark Dollarsign," "Santa Monica" and

HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Everclear/Heroin_Girl.ram">"Heroin

Girl" (RealAudio excerpt).