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Everclear, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, LIT, Marcy Playground 

When: Sun., July 15 2012
Price: $52-$57.85
SUMMERLAND TOUR Friends and colleagues have referred to this collection as the “Nights of the Living Dead” tour, “The Evil that MTV Wrought” tour, and “The ’90s One-Hit Wonder Parade.” And there’s fodder here aplenty for viewing this assembly with a jaundiced eye, because in the ’90s, thanks to the excesses of the idiots in charge, mediocrity was the music industry sin qua non and all these acts rode that to glory. Everclear had junkie-punk MTV hits from their sophomore record, Sparkle & Fade, prop them up for years and Marcy Playground just had “Sex & Candy” (turned out a lot of folks like those things, too). Sugar Ray turned “Fly” into an anchor job for Mark McGrath at Extra and the one guy in the Gin Blossoms who could apparently pen a hit was fired and then suicided, otherwise they’d have been the Goo Goo Dolls. Lit probably outsold them all, but I can’t remember a thing about ’em. There’s nothing here of critical historical import, in other words, just a few songs formulaic enough to earn heavy FM/MTV rotation. But should all that even matter? Some folks simply want to remember the good times they had listening to this harmless piffle when they were young and the future was still an unwritten book. Why begrudge them — or the artists cashing in on it? Lighten up, Frances!
— John Schacht

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