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Live Review: Everclear/Soul Asylum – 10th November 2022 – Electric Ballroom, London, UK

3 min read
London's Electric Ballroom played host to two of the 90's biggest acts - Everclear and Soul Asylum - on Thursday. Here's our review...

Two of the 90’s classic – but somewhat overlooked – rock and roll titans, Soul Asylum and Everclear, appeared at Camden’s Electric Ballroom on Thursday, showing that age doesn’t necessarily mean winding down. Both bands have seen a high level of success in their respective careers, Soul Asylum going as far as to win a Grammy Award in 1992 for Best Rock Song, and now, both veterans are touring as part of a thirtieth anniversary celebration, showing that they still have what it takes to put on a good show.

Everclear kicked off the night with an apt amount of feedback and distortion, starting off proceedings with So Much for the Afterglow. It was, according to singer Art Alexakis, the first time the band had played the UK in ten years, and their enthusiasm was apparent. Their fans, too, seemed eager for their return. Favourites Amphetamine, Song From an American Movie, and Father of Mine flew past, leaving no room for breath. Banter en-masse, Art announced “anyone an Everclear fan?” before asking again, “I mean, an old school 1995 fan?” powering into Heroin Girl. The crowd immediately sung along to the opening lines, prompting Art to leave it solely to them. Wonderful was dedicated to Art’s daughter, asking the audience “who else has kids?” acknowledging their ageing fanbase. These moments of reflection culminated with Art telling the audience of his battle with MS, before finishing with a double hitter of Nervous & Weird and Santa Monica, realising that their time was limited. Despite the thirty years between their first release and the show, both songs, and their set as a whole, still hit with a huge impact.

Soul Asylum followed quickly after. Beginning with Got It Pretty Good, the band pounded through three more tunes, including fan-favourite Shut Down, before even speaking with the audience. It was a quick fire affair; no talk, no filler, all music; solos galore, separated only by singer Dave Pirner’s batch of dad-jokes. “This one’s in a Kevin Smith movie” he announced in one rare moment of humourless conversation, before playing Misery to a resounding cheer. Smash hit Runaway Train came as a surprise, beginning after soft acoustic number Never Really Been. It was the only time in the set where there was a strong sense that the band were trying to underplay a song, but despite this, it went down extremely well with the crowd. Completing their set with an encore of String of Pearls and April Fool, Soul Asylum kept up the energy, matching – and maybe even topping – their contemporaries, both in performance and in style.

Two ageing bands, neither of which showed signs of such. The show was both a nostalgia trip and a showcase of what the younger audience members missed. Long may both bands continue to tour.

Set List:

Everclear:
So Much for the Afterglow
Everything to Everyone
Heroin Girl
Heartspark Dollarsign
Father of Mine
Summerland
Amphetamine
Wonderful
Song From an American Movie, Pt. 1
Strawberry
AM Radio
I Will Buy You a New Life
Nervous & Weird
Santa Monica

Soul Asylum:
Got It Pretty Good
Somebody To Shove
Shut Down
Misery
If I Told You
Close
Black Gold
Little Too Clean
Sometime to Return
Bittersweetheart
Can’t Even Tell
Never Really Been
Runaway Train
Without a Trace
Lately
Veil of Tears
Just Like Anyone

Encore:
String of Pearls
April Fool