Everclear show. I didn't want to shlep my camera around all night and figured (rightly) that there were probably a gazillion photos of the tour in nearly identical venues all over the continent.
The show was reminiscent of every concert I've seen in bad night clubs, including the headlining band starting their set at midnight. The Element in Penticton is indistinguishable from Winnipeg's Night Moves or the Diamond Club circa 1989, and the choice of music leading up to the bands fit the vibe -- Guns 'n Roses, AC/DC and some old classic dance songs. Surely there was some Billy Idol in there; perhaps Tannis remembers.
Anyway, it took forever for the opening bands to start. The first band, Marianas Trench from Vancouver, played very tight, energetic rock, maybe a bit punk. Still need to dig up some of their songs online to see if the recordings are as good. We skipped out on the second opening band to get some fresh air.
Finally Everclear made it on. Basically, it's the original singer/songwriter/guitarist Art Alexis with a lineup that's changed a few times, but you'd never know it wasn't the original band by how they sounded. Art's aged, like all of us, I suppose. Still got the full-sleeve tattoos, bleach-blond hair and the angular features...the usual rocker-frontman banter about how great the crowd is, encouraging people to drink more or whatever. Several of the things he talked about between songs had a note of regret, of having learned a few hard lessons from years of hard living.
But yeah, the music. The first three songs made it worth going -- Everything to Everyone, Amphetamine and Father of Mine. It took most of the opener for them to hit their stride, only getting the rhythm, harmonies and sound mix dialed in near the end. Amphetamine was faster and more fun than the original, letting them really let 'er rip. But it was Father of Mine that really paid off the price of admission for me -- emotionally intense, quiet-to-loud build-ups that had people bouncing in anticipation, and just all-out power-chord beauty in the chorus. Seriously awesome.
After that, the performance kinda lagged, with some older, quieter songs and a truly terrible Rolling Stones cover. Their version of Summerland was significantly better than the recording, but they seemed to be going through the motions on A.M. Radio -- I haven't really been into their more recent stuff. At this point it was 1:00am, my folks were still watching the girls at our place and I had a morning flight out to LA, so we ditched out. Although I knew they'd likely play a few more of my favourites off So Much for the Afterglow (maybe Watch the World Die, I Will Buy You a New Life) and maybe even When it All Goes Wrong Again off Songs From an American Movie, we felt like we had experienced enough of the "culture" of the Penticton bar scene for one night.