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[whitespace] Harwell Says Thanks

Smash Mouth makes amends with local fans, if not the local media

By Sarah Quelland

TWENTY THOUSAND PEOPLE reportedly turned up for the Smash Mouth concert held Monday (July 3) at Discovery Meadow in San Jose. The event raised about $200,000 for the Emergency Housing Consortium, which offers programs to Silicon Valley's homeless population. Smash Mouth took the stage around 8:30pm, following performances by Dana, Fuse and Los Cochinos. In light of the tragic incident that happened at the Pearl Jam concert in Denmark June 30 when nine people died and more than 20 others were critically injured as a result of being crushed against the barrier in front of the stage, only minutes before Smash Mouth came out concert organizers reminded people not to surge toward the stage because there were many small children in the crowd. People respected the direction, and instead, beach balls and balloons started bouncing through the air, as the cheering audience welcomed the San Jose natives.

As the band performed, the audience appeared to be as curious as it was enthusiastic. Though Smash Mouth is extremely popular in other cities, it still struggles with attendance at local shows. A concert scheduled for last year in San Jose was apparently canceled due to sluggish ticket sales, and the "surprise" appearance at the Cactus Club's 10-year anniversary celebration was boycotted by most of downtown's regulars, leaving the club less than half-filled. And while vocalist Steve Harwell took time during the July 3 show to address the audience, saying, "I finally get a chance to thank everyone here," he also took the opportunity to put in his two cents about the local media. He vehemently proclaimed, "Fuck the critics," announcing "This one's for the kids" before launching into "I Just Wanna See." He also dedicated "Then the Morning Comes" to all the Mix 106.5 listeners (the radio station sponsored the event).

Keeping the spirit of the night in mind, Harwell said, "If there's one thing you gotta do in life, it's give a little something back." Smash Mouth performed close to 20 songs, including favorites "Can't Get Enough of You Baby," "Stoned," "Radio," "Diggin' Your Scene" and an extended version of "Walking on the Sun." During the cover of House of Pain's "Jump Around," Harwell switched tasks with guitarist Greg Camp. Camp writes the bulk of Smash Mouth's songs and proved that he's as comfortable behind the microphone as he is behind his guitar.

Harwell's voice was suspect from the beginning of the show, but it wasn't until about 13 songs in that he apologized, saying, "I lost my voice five songs ago." Still, though raspy and scratchy, he powered on, letting the audience sing most of the closing song, the band's hit "All Star." Smash Mouth came back onstage for an encore that featured covers of Van Halen's "Runnin' With the Devil" and "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love."

Songwriter Jason Blume, who's had songs recorded by artists like Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Collin Raye, John Berry and the Oak Ridge Boys, is holding an all-day workshop titled 6 Steps to Songwriting Success based on his book of the same title. The event is sponsored by the Northern California Songwriters Association (NCSA). Topics include writing effective lyrics, learning to compose memorable melodies, using successful song structures, producing demos, and gaining insight into the music business. The workshop is $65 for NCSA members and $75 for others. It will be held July 15 at the Arts Council for San Mateo County in Belmont. Call 650.654.3966 or visit www.ncsasong.org for more information.

PLAN AHEAD: Mr. Roper, July 13 at the Cactus Club; Mest, Luckie Strike and the Wunder Years, July 13 at Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto; Summer Sanitarium tour, July 14 at 3Com Park in San Francisco; the Abductors, Herbert and Sin in Space, July 15 at the Cardiff Lounge in Campbell; Insolence, Willie's Conception, Implant and Spiritfall, July 15 at the Cactus; Eve 6, Goldfinger and Dynamite Hack, July 21 at the Fillmore in San Francisco; Sonic Youth, July 22 at the Warfield in San Francisco; the Ataris, Diesel Boy, Moodfrye and Freakbomb, July 23 at the Cactus; No Doubt, Lit and Black Eyed Peas, July 26 at the SJSU Event Center; Kiss, July 28 at Shoreline; Spike 1000, July 28 at the Cactus; B-52s, the Go-Gos and the Psychedelic Furs, July 31 at Shoreline; 3 Doors Down, Aug. 1 at the Fillmore; Sting and k.d. lang, Aug. 5 at Shoreline; Slow Gherkin, Aug. 5 at the Catalyst; the Who, Aug. 21 at Shoreline; AC/DC, Sept. 19 at the San Jose Arena.

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From the July 13-19, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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