We've been to Philly in the history of Everclear 17 times, but there ain't no fuckin' place like the Electric Factory," lead singer Art Alexakis declared to a snow white horde of cheering adolescents. On April 17th, the West Coast trio took the Philadelphia stage in support of their newest release, Slow Motion Daydream. Blasting onto the set with "You Make Me Feel like a Whore" and following with "Heroin Girl," Everclear found instant approval among the punk ensemble. As the band continued through hits like "Wonderful" and "AM Radio," the artists visibly evolved from standard competent musicians into a rock spectacle. The bassist's dynamic antics almost required leashing as Craig Montoya could be found vigorously bouncing atop the speakers, wrestling with an uncooperative mike stand, and pumping out full body solos. Splicing occasional soft near-balladic moments among the power chords, Everclear confronted each moment of stage time with keen craft. Without allowing time to bask in the second-hand cigarette smoke, Alexakis pulled the spectators out of the daydreamy wonderment of "Pale Green Star" to proclaim, "This one goes out to all those who've been with us for years," before slamming into an edgier version of "I Will Buy You A New Life." Then, Everclear slipped gracefully into another hit from So Much for the Afterglow, "Father of Mine." Mid-song, the sick Ekland mustered up one of the sweetest drum solos to the mob's Alexakis-incited chant of "Puke... puke!" Pandering to the crowd while also playing god, Alexakis solicited the devotees for a guitar player and one lucky fan surely fit the bill. An androgynous Pat, clad in white t-shirt and jeans, was pulled up on stage to perform a professional rendition of "Santa Monica." Once Alexakis regained possession of his instrument, Everclear began hoisting up youngsters to dance to "Everything to Everyone." By the end, nearly 30 sweaty fans boogied to a cover of Cheap Trick's "Surrender" with the bassist standing confidently in the audience's arms. The finale's tomfoolery summed up the entirety of the show: Everclear can certainly produce a number of hit radio songs, but they have also realized the importance of engineering a vivacious live act.


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