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Calendar of events
The Under the Sun Tour
Sat, Jul 26
The Under the Sun Tour featuring Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, Blues Traveler and Uncle Kracker will be in the Arena on Saturday, July 26, 2014. Show time is at 8:00pm with doors opening one hour prior. Ticket prices are $29 and $19. Tickets will go on sale on Saturday, May 10th.
Tickets can be obtained by either calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-736-1420, on line at ticketmaster.com
The band’s debut album, “Lemonade and Brownies,” was released in 1995 and though it failed to produce a major hit single it did earn them recognition in alternative circles. Their early work was strongly influenced by funk metal, punk, and alternative rock. This first album leaned on experimenting with those many influences, combining genres.
Their 1997 album “Floored” featured their first mainstream hit with the song “Fly,” which featured reggae artist Super Cat. “Fly” was notable for not sounding anything at all like the rest of the tracks on the album and received frequent radio play, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. As a result of the success of “Fly,” “Floored” sold well and was certified double platinum. “Floored” featured a strong nu metal influence and was the band’s last “heavy” album before they moved into a more adult contemporary direction.
Their 1999 album “14:59” was the reply to accusations that they were one-hit-wonders, with the title implying that their 15 minutes of fame were not quite up with their “fame clock” reading 14:59.\ “Every Morning,” which received widespread comparisons to “Fly,” rose to similar success during the spring of 1999, reaching #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Their follow-up single “Someday” received extensive airplay later that year as well and reached #7. “14:59” outsold its predecessor and was certified triple platinum. Another Billboard hit, “Falls Apart,” gained popularity as well.
In 2000, Sugar Ray did a cover version of John Cale and Brian Eno’s “Spinning Away” for the soundtrack to “The Beach.” Their 2001 self-titled album “Sugar Ray “produced another hit with “When It’s Over,” which failed to reach the same level as their previous singles.
Sugar Ray’s 2003 effort “In the Pursuit of Leisure”, and the first single from that album, “Mr. Bartender (It’s So Easy),” received a lukewarm reception. In 2005, Sugar Ray released a greatest hits album, with three new songs (“Shot of Laughter,” “Time After Time,” and “Psychedelic Bee”).
Smash Mouth was formed in 1994, and was originally composed of Steve Harwell, Greg Camp, Paul De Lisle and Kevin Coleman as lead vocals, guitar, bass and drums respectively.
The band’s first publicity came when a demo of the song “Nervous in the Alley” was played by a San José radio station, KOME. Soon after, Interscope Records signed the band after a show, and the group’s debut album, “Fush Yu Mang,” was released in 1997. Also upon signing to Interscope Records, the band changed their name from Smashmouth to Smash Mouth. The album’s track, “Walkin’ on the Sun” was the band’s first major single and it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. The album reached the Top 20 of the Billboard 200 Albums chart and eventually was certified double platinum.
The band’s second album, “Astro Lounge,” was released in 1999 and marked a change in direction, as it had less of the previous ska influence and more of a pop sound. Supported by the #4 hit single “All Star,” which was featured in several movie soundtracks, “Astro Lounge” peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200 was eventually certified as triple platinum.
Also in 1999, “The East Bay Sessions” was released as a collection of early songs. Shortly after the release of the album, drummer Kevin Coleman left the band due to back problems. He was replaced by Mitch Marine for the tour supporting “Astro Lounge,” who was subsequently replaced by Michael Urbano at the conclusion of the tour.
In 2001, Smash Mouth covered The Monkees’ hit song “I’m a Believer.” It was featured on both the “Shrek” movie soundtrack as well as the eponymous album “Smash Mouth.” The album sold fewer copies than the band’s earlier works, eventually being certified gold.
Two years after “Smash Mouth” was released, “Get the Picture?” was issued. Featuring the single, “You are my Number One,” the album reached #48 on the Billboard 200. The other singles from the album, “Hang On” from the film “The Cat in the Hat” and “Always Gets Her Way” were generally poorly received. Due to the low sales, as well as band concerns over loss of control in their sound, Smash Mouth was dropped from Interscope shortly after the release of “Get the Picture?” That same year, the band performed a cover of the Sherman Brothers song “I Wanna Be Like You” for the animated film “The Jungle Book 2.”
Following the band’s signing to Universal Records, Smash Mouth released a greatest hits compilation “All Star Smash Hits” in 2005. The album contained some of the more popular songs from previous Smash Mouth albums, as well as songs from soundtrack albums which were not on the band’s own releases. In December 2005, the band released a Christmas album “Gift of Rock.” It featured covers of Christmas songs by many artists, such as The Kinks and The Ramones, and one original song, “Baggage Claim.”
Smash Mouth’s fifth studio album, originally to be titled “Old Habits,” was expected to be released in early 2006. In September 2005, the band performed what was tentatively going to be the album’s first single, “Getaway Car,” on “Last Call with Carson Daly.” The album was delayed many times. Smash Mouth returned to the studio intent on making their new record better. “Old Habits” was shelved, replaced by “Summer Girl,” which included some remixed “Old Habits” tracks as well as new songs. After being delayed in much the same way “Old Habits” was for several months, the album was released in September 2006. Smash Mouth let Sony Pictures use much of their music from “Summer Girl” and other songs for the movie “Zoom.”
Before the release of “Summer Girl,” drummer Michael Urbano left the band without warning on February 14, 2006 due to creative differences. The band found a new drummer, Jason Sutter, best known for his work with American Hi-Fi and The Rembrandts. The band released their new album, “Summer Girl” later that year. In early 2007, just one year after joining the band, Jason Sutter left Smash Mouth to play drums for former Soundgarden and Audioslave front man, Chris Cornell and fill-in drummer Mitch Marine returned to Smash Mouth. Greg Camp left the band in the summer of 2008 and Smash Mouth recruited Leroy Miller to play guitar.
Blues Traveler was formed in Princeton, New Jersey in 1987. The band has been influenced by a variety of genres, including blues-rock, psychedelic rock, folk rock, soul, and Southern rock. They are known for extensive use of segues in their live performances. Currently, the group comprises singer and harmonica player John Popper, guitarist Chan Kinchla, drummer Brendan Hill, bassist Tad Kinchla and keyboardist Ben Wilson. Tad Kinchla and Ben Wilson joined the band following the death of original bassist Bobby Sheehan in 1999.
Blues Traveler was singed to A& M Records and released their self-titled debut album in 1990, with the song “But Anyway” getting airplay on college radio stations. The album included Joan Osborne on backing vocals on two tracks.
Their second album, “Travelers and Thieves,” followed in 1991. Upon Bill Graham’s death that year, they released a live EP, “On Tour Forever,” as a tribute to Graham, which featured guitar legend Carlos Santana. The group was becoming well known in the new wave of jam bands that was developing in the early 1990s.
Around this time, the mainstream national audience was exposed to Blues Traveler by television host David Letterman, who has introduced them as his “favorite band.” The band has since made more appearances on “The Late Show” than any musical artist. Letterman’s band leader Paul Shaffer has played on a number of Blues Traveler recordings.
In 1992, the group founded the H.O.R.D.E. festival as an alternative to others such as Lollapalooza, along with other bands such as Phish and Spin Doctors. Blues Traveler began recording their third album, “Save His Soul.” Recording was temporarily interrupted by John Popper’s motorcycle accident, although the band resumed touring shortly thereafter with Popper in a wheelchair. Two singles were released from the album, “Defense & Desire” and “Conquer Me,” which reached #34 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
The band’s fourth album, titled “four,” was released in late 1994. The upbeat pop single “Run-Around” became a smash hit and was followed by the catchy “Hook.” “Run-Around” won a Grammy Award and reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart going on to break the record for most weeks on the chart. “Four” peaked at #8 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and was certified 6x platinum.
The double live album, “Live from the Fall,” was released in 1996. It featured recordings from the band’s autumn 1995 concerts and showcased the strength of the band’s live performances.
Their next studio album, “Straight On till Morning,” was released in 1997. It achieved platinum status, reaching #11 on the Billboard 200, but did not perform as well as “four.” The single “Carolina Blues” peaked at #4 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks.
By the end of 1998, the band had prepared a concept album called “The Sun, The Storm and The Traveler,” based on Aesop’s fable of “The North Wind and the Sun,” and they planned to record it after a recess in the fall of 1999. That summer, John Popper had emergency heart surgery due to artery blockage, forcing the band to cancel their annual July 4th Red Rocks shows at the last minute.
During the hiatus, Popper released a solo album with a backing band consisting of Dave Matthews Band drummer Carter Beauford and members of the group Cycomotogoat.
On August 20, 1999, Bobby Sheehan was found dead in his New Orleans, Louisiana home, where he had been recording music with some friends the night before. Sheehan’s death was ruled an accidental drug overdose.
The band discarded their concept album material, instead releasing a smaller online EP, “Decisions of the Sky: A Traveler’s Tale of Sun and Storm,” and went to work collectively composing a new set of songs with the new lineup. The resulting album was “Bridge,” which had the working title “Bridge Outta Brooklyn” as a tribute to Sheehan (with both the acronym B.O.B. and his nickname “Brooklyn Bobby”). The songs “Girl Inside My Head” and “Just for Me” received airplay, but the album’s sales fell somewhat short of expectations.
The live album “What You and I Have Been Through” and the compilation “Travelogue: Blues Traveler Classics” were both released in 2002. Blues Traveler was one of dozens of artists who were jettisoned as part of A&M’s corporate restructuring. The band signed with Sanctuary Records for their next album, “Truth Be Told,” which only reached #147 on the Billboard 200.
The band left Sanctuary for Vanguard Records and in 2005 released “¡Bastardos!,” which was produced by Wilco’s Jay Bennett and was touted as the band’s return to music that they wanted to play. The album charted at#49 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart, and a live EP of songs from the album was released to independent record stores.
In 2007, Blues Traveler released the album “Cover Yourself,” a best-of album of previously released songs re-recorded and reinterpreted with acoustic instrumentation. It was released in October 2007 through Columbia/Red Ink Records.
“North Hollywood Shootout” was released by Verve Forecast Records in 2008. It included a spoken word piece featuring Bruce Willis.
Matthew Shafer better known as Uncle Kracker’s music was more rap rock-based at the start of his career before turning to a more country and Top 40 style. Shafer has been friends with Kid Rock since the mid-1990s. In 1994, Kid Rock asked Shafer to play turntables for his band called Twisted Brown Trucker. Shafer knew nothing of using turntables, but since his brother was an experienced DJ, he agreed. He only performed at live shows at the time, until he began recording for Rock’s album, “Early Mornin’ Stoned Pimp.” Shafer was a featured vocalist on some of the tracks. He then began working on a solo album, but he continued being the DJ for Kid Rock.
Upon the release of Rock’s multi-platinum album, “Devil Without a Cause,” Shafer decided that it was time to release his first solo album, “Double Wide,” adopting the stage name Uncle Kracker from his favorite snack producer, the Kraft Kracker Kompany of Flint, Michigan.
“Double Wide” was released in 2000 and peaked at #7 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and is Shafer’s most successful and highest-selling album. “Double Wide” was produced by Kid Rock, with mixing additional production by Michael Bradford. The first single taken off the album was “Follow Me,” which was co-written with Bradford, and peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. “Double Wide” was certified 2× platinum in November 2001.
After a great deal of touring to promote the first album, he began to work on a follow-up album. Entitled “No Stranger to Shame,” it was released in August 2002. The album reached #43 on the Billboard 200. A hit single was released, a cover version of Dobie Gray’s 1973 Top 5 hit, “Drift Away,” featuring Gray as a guest vocalist. Kracker’s version of this song peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it set a record for most weeks at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, remaining atop the chart for 22 weeks. Other singles released from “No Stranger to Shame” included “In A Little While”, which peaked at #59 on the Hot 100 and #26 on the Adult Contemporary charts. A third single was released, “Memphis Soul Song”, which charted on the Adult Top 40 at #35. A special remix of “Memphis Soul Song” was also released, featuring harmonies by legendary singing group The Jordanaires, who had famously sung harmonies with Elvis Presley. The album was certified gold by the RIAA within a year of its release.
Soon after this period, Kracker became good friends with country music star Kenny Chesney and the two began a successful touring partnership together, brought on by the success of Kenny’s 2004 hit single “When the Sun Goes Down,” which peaked at #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, and went on to achieve gold certification.
After touring, Shafer began working on a third album which he called “Seventy Two and Sunny.” He had completely abandoned all rapping, and moved onto a pure country sound. The album featured two singles, “Rescue,” which charted at #20 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Singles chart, and “Writing It Down,” which did not chart at all. “Seventy Two and Sunny” peaked at #39 on the Billboard 200.
Uncle Kracker’s fourth studio album “Happy Hour” was released in 2009. The first single from the album “Smile” was released in July 2009 and has peaked at #31 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Smile” also became his first solo entry on the Hot Country Songs chart, where it debuted at #57 and peaked at #6 in September 2010. The album also features country singer Jesse Lee in a duet they wrote called “Me Again.”
Uncle Kracker’s six song EP, “Happy Hour: The South River Road Sessions,” was released in June 2010. The EP features country remakes of songs off the “Happy Hour” album. Two songs released were remakes of “Smile” and “Good to Be Me,” featuring Kid Rock.