Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath did not intend to start a new summer package tour this year. He was happy enough with the Summer Land tour he and Everclear's Art Alexakis launched last year.
But after an amicable parting of the ways, McGrath says he's just as pleased with the Under The Sun Tour, on which his band is joined by fellow 90s and early 00s hitmakers Smash Mouth,the Gin Blossoms and others.
"I though last year's tour went well, but it wasn't everything Art hoped it would be," says McGrath, 45, who's also an on-air personality for Extra. "I think (Alexakis) was looking for something more alternative, more aggressive, more guitar-oriented, and we came to a sort of a crossroads. He said, 'I'm gonna do my thing. God bless ya. You're always welcome to do my thing.' I said 'Good luck,' and it's all good.
"I think there's enough room for both of us out there."
McGrath says that Under The Sun "is basically the spirit of what we started with last year." And while all of the bands are still interested in making new music -- Sugar Ray, in fact, has "started woodshedding some songs" according to McGrath -- they all understand the draw is the proven hit material from their pasts.
"There was such great music from that era, and nostalgia is something that never goes away," says McGrath. "Once someone connects to a song, it's there forever, whether it's 'The Macarena' or 'Smells LIke Teen Spirit.' I have so many people come up to me who say ' 'Fly' is the first song my child ever sang.' You can't take that away, y'know? Once you have that, you can tour forever."
Under The Sun 2013 with Sugar Ray, Smash Mouths, Gin Blossoms, Vertical Horizon and Fastball, plays at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 21, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $45 and $35 pavilion, $15 lawn with a $44 lawn four-pack. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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