If you’re nostalgic for the ‘90s, then you may well have been at Suquamish Clearwater Casino Thursday night to check out Eve 6, the band behind such late-’90s hits as “Inside Out” and “Here’s to the Night.”
If not, you’re probably hitting yourself for missing the show. (But don’t fret — there’s still time to catch another ‘90s band at the casino next week).
The band was great, and I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I want to say a couple words about the venue.
Clearwater Casino’s Beach Rock Lounge is a great place to order a burger and beer and listen to live music. The venue, which is billed as a music and sports lounge, opened last September, and holds 300 people, according to the casino’s website.
Thursday’s concert is one of several that are apparently the result of some kind of partnership (although maybe “partnership” isn’t quite the right word) between the casino and Seattle radio station 107.7 The End. The radio station brought Coleman Hell to the venue in April, and is presenting a performance by the band Lit on June 2.
Dozens of tables form a semicircle around the lounge’s stage, with ample standing room for particularly enthusiastic concertgoers — the kind who don’t mind if they’re close enough for the band members’ sweat to splash on them.
The venue features what appears to be a state-of-the-art sound system. It looks impressive, but in practice, it seemed to be a mixed bag on Thursday.
When Tony Fagenson, Eve 6’s drummer, kicked the bass drum, it felt like someone was kicking the back of the booth I was sitting at. The music is loud, which is what you want at a rock show, but you also want the sound to be relatively clear, and it wasn’t. It was difficult to make out song lyrics, and even difficult to understand bassist and lead vocalist Max Collins as he chatted with the audience between songs.
Despite this slight annoyance, the band was energetic and the lyrics didn’t have to be perfectly audible in order for fans to enjoy the music, which seemed familiar, to put it mildly, to everyone in attendance.
The band opened with “Promise,” off its sophomore 2000 album, Horrorscope. When I interviewed Fagenson last week, he mentioned that the band planned to play mostly fan favorites from its first three albums — a change from recent tours, where they’ve favored songs from their newest album, 2012’s Speak in Code.
They did play two standout tracks from Code: “Situation Infatuation,” a catchy song about the perils of lust-at-first-sight; and one of the band’s singles, “Victoria,” preceded by Collins telling the crowd to “imagine you’re at a discotheque in Mexico,” due to the song’s gritty, yet danceable vibe, as well as its subject matter, involving a woman partying in Mexico without her boyfriend.
Expectedly, the band also performed two of its biggest (aforementioned) hits: “Here’s to the Night,” no doubt reminding countless attendees of their high school proms; and the hit that propelled them to fame, “Inside Out.” Multiple people pulled out their smartphone cameras to capture the experience.
Everyone in the venue was, at the least, head-bobbing along throughout the band’s set; the fans standing smack-dab in front of the stage were more emphatic, dancing or waving their arms as they sang along. “We love you!” one man shouted.
As the band walked off stage about an hour after they started, the crowd cheered, demanding an encore. The band returned and performed the first song off its self-titled album, “How Much Longer,” followed by “Superhero Girl” off the same album.
With that, Collins and guitarist Jon Siebels walked off the stage. Fagenson lingered a moment to toss his drumsticks to a lucky member of the crowd before following his bandmates offstage.
An hour and ten minutes after they started, the band was done. It seemed way too short a set; even an extra twenty minutes would have felt more complete for a band with such an impressive catalog of music, one fans were clearly eager to hear as much of as possible.
The band hung out by its merch table after the show; the line stretched past several lines of slot machines on the casino floor. I decided not to wait in line (I had already met the band briefly before the show), but the people waiting in line to buy CDs and T-shirts — or who already had merch they wanted the band to sign — looked perfectly content to wait in line for the culmination of an awesome night.
This was a show for the band’s hardcore fans, who have remained loyal listeners through the years. Even as musical trends have changed, their love for the band hasn’t wavered. It’s clear they had a blast, and by that measure, the show was a great success.
Apparently the band thought so, too:
Damn Suquamish. You were all like uhh and we were like whoa. #amazing1stshow
— eve 6 feet apart (@Eve6) May 27, 2016
Featured photo: Steven Wyble/Kitsap Scene