Its line-up may have schizophrenia, but with the help of
some seriously gooey glitter, the Summerland Tour managed to stick as one big
sense-making entity. Featuring 7 Year Bitch, Tracy Bonham, Spacehog and
Everclear, the tour (which just ended) consisted of four acts as stylistically
separable as combat boots, pumps, platform heels and Chuck Taylor tennis shoes.
Strangely, it's the most funky of the four, Spacehog (they're the ones with the
glitter), that deserves much of the credit for making the show work as a whole.
Uniting the crowd through their structured sing-along jams and
join-in-on-the-goof theatrics, Spacehog is a tough act to follow. But these
galaxy pigs actually pose no lasting threat to Everclear, which makes plenty of
its own headway and undoubtedly remains the headliner.
With a tour route
that has pitted a few dates against those of Lollapalooza, the Summerland Tour
didn't suffer from a bum turnout at San Francisco's Warfield Friday night (Aug.
2). The crowd came out early and strong, packing a good part of the venue
before 7 Year Bitch's 7:30 slot on stage. Because of their aggressive approach,
all female line-up and geography (they're from Seattle), 7YB is often slotted
into the riot grrrl movement, which the band has adamantly rejected in
interviews from the start. Their live show itself strongly refutes labeling 7YB
as just one of the grrrls--though ringing with snotty self-belief, the band's
performance is much more about playing a set that's powerful and provocative
and as tight as a principal's rear end than it is about consecutively throwing
Second up was Tracy Bonham, who's known for her own
kind of tantrum, the kind she exhibits in her hit single, "Mother Mother," when
she screams "Everything's fine" with brutal irony...
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