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Eek-a-Mouse opens Metro's Music in the Park series.

Cover Me

Smash Mouth appeals to multiple generations at Concert for the Homeless

By Sarah Quelland

AFTER A SUCCESSFUL showing in 2000, San Jose's own Smash Mouth returned this year to headline Mix 106.5's annual Concert for the Homeless held Wednesday (July 3) in Discovery Meadow. The band's summery neo-retro-pop music lends itself well to the outdoor family festival, and with two songs featured prominently on the Shrek soundtrack, the savvy marketers proved especially popular with the toddler set. After kicking off with Astro Lounge's "Then the Morning Comes," the band quickly identified itself to its young fans by launching into its cover of the Neil Diamond-penned Monkees' hit "I'm a Believer." Standard Smash Mouth covers of ? and the Mysterians' "Can't Get Enough of You Baby," War's "Why Can't We Be Friends?" and Van Halen's "Runnin' With the Devil" also found their way into the set.

Although it has three albums to its credit now, Smash Mouth focused on material from its first two releases, incorporating highlights from Fush Yu Mang ("The Fonz," "Beer Goggles," its breakthrough hit "Walkin' on the Sun" and the overlooked Spanish-styled number "Padrino") and several key selections from Astro Lounge. Acknowledging the band's popularity with the children in the crowd, a fit-looking Steve Harwell said, "I want all you kids to plug your ears for a couple minutes. This one's for the parents," before launching into Lounge's "Stoned."

Though detractors consider Smash Mouth little more than a glorified cover band, the audience at Discovery Meadow was responsive throughout the band's performance, dancing, clapping and singing along to the group's original songs. Harwell demonstrated a great rapport with both the crowd and his band mates, giving the concert a fun, friendly feeling. During the encore, Harwell brought an enthusiastic young girl onstage to help him out with the speedy "Let's Rock" and the band's big closer, "All Star."

The night didn't end with Concert for the Homeless though. At a quiet after-party at Plant 51, sandwiched between two respectable sets by the Frontier Wives (which features Scott Long and Lex van den Berghe), Smash Mouth's guitarist Greg Camp and bassist Paul DeLisle, along with drummer Chris Racine, casually took the stage as Goofyfoot. With Camp on vocals, the band played rare originals in front of an appreciative assortment of local musicians and Plant 51 regulars.

ALL THE NEWS: The Usual holds its Last Call Party with the Faction next Friday (July 19). Word on the street proved true. Under the eye of new owner Jonäs Fredrickson, the new Spy club opens to the public on Aug. 9. ... San Jose skate-punk band Outtaline may be on an indefinite hiatus, but its frontman and bass player, Matt Ramirez, remains close to his skate-punk roots. Ramirez recently opened up the 5-0 Skateboard Shop at 2089 Winchester Blvd. in Campbell. ... Numbskull Productions presents two big shows at the Santa Cruz Vets Hall. Sunday (July 14) Good Riddance, Strike Anywhere, the Missing 23rd and the Fire Sermon tear up the stage. July 22 brings punk supergroup the Transplants (featuring Rancid's singer/guitarist Tim Armstrong and bassist Matt Freeman, plus Blink-182's drummer Travis Barker) to town, along with the Distillers and Pressure Point. Tickets for each all-ages show are $12 and are available at Streetlight Records or at www.ticketweb.com. ... Also in Santa Cruz, West Coast DJ Doc Martin appears Wednesday (July 17) at 418 Front Street. ... The Van's Warped Tour takes place this Saturday and Sunday (July 13-14) at Pier 30 and 32 in San Francisco. Aside from the bands, other highlights include Reverse Daycare for the parents, a Warped treasure hunt, a traveling museum of Warped memorabilia, a fanzine area, extreme drumming, independent films and a stage show presented by Troma Studios, the culprits responsible for the Toxic Avenger series and other cult classics. ... Metro's Music in the Park free concert series kicks off Thursday (July 11), 5-8:15pm, at Plaza de Cesar Chavez with Eek-a-Mouse.

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From the July 11-17, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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