All American Rejects and Eve 6 bring youthful spirit to Deer Valley
Lucinda Williams. Aaron Neville. Dwight Yoakam. Roger Hodgson.
When you look at those previous performers at this season's Deer Valley Amphitheater concert series presented by the Park City Performing Arts Foundation, you might notice something. If you averaged the ages of each, it would come to nearly 62 years.
Of course, the appeal of that lineup is that Williams and the others bridge generation gaps, and young listeners can find as much beauty, wisdom and timeless art from Hodgson, Yoakam and Neville as older fans do.
The challenge is getting young music fans to buy tickets.
So, in a nod to the younger people who might be avoiding the older-skewing, wine-sipping Deer Valley Music Festival this summer Kansas and Earth, Wind & Fire, anyone? the decidedly younger rock bands All American Rejects and Eve 6 will perform in the next installment of the performing-arts series.
In past years, bands like OneRepublic, Civil Twilight, Katie Herzig and Thriving Ivory have played PCPAF shows, says Teri Orr, PCPAF's executive director. She met some resistance when the OneRepublic show was booked, yet everyone in attendance loved the youthful energy the pop-rock group brought.
All American Rejects and Eve 6 feature "great musicians," just as talented as the older generation of performers, she said.
The Tribune talked to both bands to see what the kids have to offer when the volumes are as high as the elevation.
All American Rejects • The rock quartet from the bubbling music scene of Stillwater, Okla., met early success they were signed to a record contract when band members were still in high school but never as much as when their kiss-off song "Gives You Hell" was the most-played song of 2008 on mainstream radio. A video of the song garnered more than 25 million views on YouTube.
Other songs, such as "Dirty Little Secret," "Swing, Swing," "Move Along" and "It Ends Tonight," have propelled the band to the top of the charts as well, and its most recent album, 2012's "Kids in the Street," debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard albums chart.
All American Rejects were in Park City in January, where they performed a rare acoustic set at the Sundance Film Festival's Music CafÃ©. "It was easy for us," said Mike Kennerly, guitarist. "We got to have a nice evening in a cool town."
In between the band's 2008 album "When the World Comes Down" and "Kids in the Street," songwriters Nick Wheeler and Tyson Ritter retreated to secluded spots all over the United States to write skeletons of new, different songs. The new songs were ambitious, featuring arrangements that were more complicated than the band's usual complement of guitars, bass and drums.
Both were nervous to show Kennerly the new songs, but the guitarist embraced the new material. "I thought we were really going to make a great record," Kennerly said. "Tyson stepped up lyrically and vocally. It literally is â¦ our best album."
The band spent more time than usual fleshing out the songs and recording them. "The songs dictate where the arrangement goes," Kennerly said. "These songs were calling for more bells and whistles."
Once the album was finished, the musicians started rehearsing before heading out on tour, which is when they realized they needed help replicating some of the songs and spirit of "Kids in the Street." The band enlisted a touring keyboard player and a bass player to allow former bassist Ritter more freedom as a frontman, Kennerly said.
Eve 6 • The rock trio Eve 6 was famously signed when the three musicians were still in high school, and its debut single, "Inside Out," was a smash hit when released in 1998. "Here's to the Night," which became a much-played graduation anthem (although the song's really about a one-night stand), burned up the charts in 2001, and both singles were seen millions of times on YouTube.
But by the time 2004 came around, the band had disbanded. "I was 19 when we started the three albums, and then the three touring cycles, back-to-back-to-back," said singer Max Collins. "We were all mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted."
Collins had also developed a drinking problem and said it took time to get sober. He began a new band with Eve 6 drummer Tony Fagenson called The Sugi Tap, while bass player Jon Siebels went ahead with his own project, Monsters Are Waiting.
At some point, Collins found himself wondering why he was continuing with a band no one could pronounce when fans were still asking him if Eve 6 would ever reunite. "It took a tediously long time for us to realize [we were good together]," he said about his two original bandmates.
After a false start in which Collins and Fagenson tried to reboot Eve 6 with a different bass player, Siebels eventually rejoined the fold in 2011, and the band went about recording a new album, although the members were "wary of the whole victory lap idea of a record," Collins said.
"Speak in Code" was released in April nearly nine years after the last album.
Collins admitted he's still concerned about remaining sober on tour when there are so many temptations. "For a little while, there was some fear involved" when the band began touring again earlier this year. "Now I have some experience. I've having more fun than in a long time maybe ever."
All American Rejects with Eve 6.
When • Sunday, Aug. 12, at 7 p.m.
Where • Deer Valley Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater, 2250 Deer Valley Drive, Park City
Tickets • Lawn seating, $35; reserved seating, $45, $55 and $65, at http://www.ecclescenter.org.
Info • Summit County high-school students with a 3.5 GPA or higher can receive one free lawn seat to the show. Students are invited to present photo student ID and 2011-12 report card showing GPA. The box office is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the Mega Genius Supply Store and IQ HQ, 436 Swede Alley, Park City. (The honors student ticket giveaway isn't available the day of the show.)