Review: Rain storms dampen Under the Sun Tour's visit to Sandy
Sandy • The last time I saw Smash Mouth was during the 2002 Winter Olympics at the medals ceremony.
The difference between that show and the one the group put on Tuesday night at the Sandy Amphitheater?
The weather was better during the Olympics.
Smash Mouth headlined the '90s-oriented Under the Sun Tour (an ironic name considering the rainy conditions). The tour includes Sugar Ray, the Gin Blossoms, Vertical Horizon and Fastball. To say that conditions were miserable would be an understatement.
The 1,000 or so fans who endured a 45-minute delay caused by lightning and a constant driving rain seemed like they enjoyed themselves. But they had every reason not to for a concert that by all rights should have been cancelled.
The bands played short sets. In fact, Vertical Horizon played a whopping one song before officials wisely sent fans to their cars due to lightning concerns; the band did not return to the stage. Because spotlights couldn't be used, the lead singers spent much of their time in the dark.
What fans got were scaled down versions of big hits. Smash Mouth lead singer Steve Harwell turned in an energetic performance, bringing fans on the stage for "Walkin' on the Sun," and had the appreciative crowd singing along for "I'm a Believer" and "All Star."
Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath opened with a catchy new song called "Summertime's Coming," which actually would have been nice on this rainy evening. He's an energetic performer who joked with the crowd about the weather while wearing a Hawaiian shirt. That and the sunglasses did seem a bit strange considering the conditions.
Again, the set was short with hits "Someday," "Every Morning," and "Fly" leaving the crowd on its feet, perhaps as much to stay warm as to enjoy the music.
After the long break when lightning and wind drove Vertical Horizon off the stage and sent fans scrambling to their cars, Gin Blossoms lead singer Robin Wilson tried to get things going again. It was a good effort but, again, the set was too short, with the hit "Hey Jealousy" the highlight.
The opening act, Austin, Texas-based Fastball, performed a couple of songs with water themes: "You're an Ocean" and "Love Comes in Waves," which fit right in with the stormy weather. As the opening band, they played one of the longest sets of the night, getting in five songs.
If you like '90s music, chances are battling the rain was worth the misery. And Smash Mouth and Harwell were the obvious stars of this show. But it wasn't a good night for music and, despite the bands' best efforts, most will only remember this show for its miserable conditions.
Under the Sun Tour
Featuring • Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, the Gin Blossoms, Vertical Horizon and Fastball.
Where • Sandy Amphitheater
When • Tuesday, July 16, 2013