Sammy Arechar is one of the funniest comedians in Milwaukee. The up-and-coming comic also holds the distinction of being the one and only person Milwaukee Record has encountered who truly enjoys the band Smash Mouth without a hint of irony. Instead of going to the Miller Lite Oasis and assembling a predictable slam piece with cheap references to throwing bread or whatever, we decided to give the responsibility of evaluating the most interesting (non-Neil Young) booking of Summerfest’s final day into the hands of a real fan. We let Sammy weigh in on last night’s Smash Mouth concert. Here’s what he thought.
Boy oh boy, did I really feel like I won and lost at the same time last night. It was the last day of the biggest music festival in the world, and the block (or Henry W. Maier Festival Park) was hot. What I have gathered from the last day of the festival is that people really like corn on the cob! Man, there was so much corn to be had amongst the patrons. I saw a man eating corn, I saw a lady eating corn, kids eating corn, couples eating corn, moms, dads, aunts, and uncles all eating corn! I turned to a man and said “What is this, Nebraska?!” He didn’t find it very funny, probably because he wasn’t trying to count the cobs.
Along with counting cobs, I watched a man balance a ladder on his chin. These were the things I did with my time to distract myself from trying to look at my watch constantly. I honestly couldn’t wait to see Smash Mouth. My first album I had ever purchased was Astro Lounge. The first time Smash Mouth came to Milwaukee since then, I was unable to see them because they performed at Potawatomi a few years ago and I wasn’t old enough at the time.
I decided to take a shot at getting as close to the stage as I could. As I walked to the front, I noticed a big open spot on the bleachers next to a kid wearing a Hawaiian shirt. I befriended him because I assumed he was a big fan of Smash Mouth based on his appearance, but as the show went on it just came off as an ironic shirt. I really trusted that guy and he let me down, he seemed like someone I can sing “The Fonz” with.
As much as it pains me to see people make fun of Smash Mouth, I think it’s pretty funny to see the same people go and watch them live. About a month ago I watched an episode of Game Of Thrones with a bunch of my friends. It was an episode from its most current season. I had never watched the show before, but my friends are all hardcore fans. They were all enamored and they were really enjoying it. I sat for about 70 minutes trying to like it, yet having the hardest time doing so because I knew nothing about the show. That’s exactly how the Smash Mouth concert felt: I enjoyed every minute of it, but people seemed to have just been waiting for the only three songs I expected them to know (“Walking on the Sun,” “Then The Morning Comes,” and “All Star”). Oh, and also THE DIFFERENCE WITH ME WATCHING GAME OF THRONES AND NOT LIKING IT IS THAT I DON’T MAKE FUN OF THE SHOW OR BELITTLE ANYONE WHO DOES.
A lot of people showed support by wearing Shrek ears. One person had a life-sized inflatable Shrek doll that found its way to the stage. Steve Harwell did that person a solid and signed the Shrek doll before casting it back into the crowd. All in all, it was such a positive night. I felt like the king of the party. They played banger after banger.
IT WAS HONESTLY SUCH A SOLID SET! As I reflect on the show the morning after, as I reminisce and think about how much fun I had singing their songs, dancing around, and having people point at me and say such things as “This guy knows every song,” “I didn’t really think there would be an honest Smash Mouth fan here,” and “He looks like if Kathy Bates was brown,” I would have to give this show a very low rating. As much as I praised their performance, I left feeling pretty upset. They didn’t play “Holiday In My Head.” I really wanted them to play that song. Honestly, if you’re reading this, open a new tab and search that song. Play it and think about how cool it would’ve been to hear it live. Such an electric song. It was honestly one of the only songs I was wishing they played, along with “Stoned” and “Pacific Coast Party.” But, with bated breath I wait until the San Jose alt-rock band visits The Good Land once again.
P.S. In all seriousness, it was such an experience, even for the people who didn’t know many of their songs. They were all having a gas, just dancing around, laughing, taking selfies. Also, shout out to Michael Klooster, Smash Mouth’s current keyboardist, for literally jumping up as high as he possibly could as he riffed around and played during the entire show. He’s a classic man. I give this show a 69 out of 420.
Can’t Get Enough of You (Question Mark & The Mysterians cover)
The In Set
Pacific Coast Party
Why Can’t We Be Friends (War cover)
Come On Come On
Walking On The Sun
Girl Like You
Then The Morning Comes
Digging Your Scene
You Really Got Me (Kinks cover)
I’m A Believer (Monkees cover)