By DONNA BALANCIA
Smash Mouth put on a crazy show alternating between storytelling and singing favorite tunes to a capacity crowd at The Canyon Club last weekend.
The place was so crowded with Smash Mouth fans — mostly in the age range of late teens to mid-20s — it was hard to navigate through the audience.
Obnoxious frontman Steve Harwell had the crowd laughing for most of the night, taking drinks from the patrons, and telling stories about stealing weed and his daily hijinx.
Harwell, who was a painter in the old days while trying to make it as a punk rocker had a run-in with the law after stealing a couple of pot plants and throwing them in the back of his pickup truck. Apparently some of the white paint was leaking out while he was making his getaway and led the police right to him. In addition, when he was reading about his own escapades in a popular rock magazine, the guy standing next to him said, “Hey those were MY plants!” Some guys can’t catch a break.
But Smash Mouth — Harwell and all — is sure getting a lot of breaks today. They had critical success with “Walking on The Sun,” crazy popularity with “All-Star,” and financial success with The Monkees cover “I’m a Believer,” which landed in top kids movie Shrek. But the guys are more than that.
Harwell’s super entertaining, even if the band prefers to perform sitting down these days. Doesn’t matter, these guys bring it and have a ball on stage, cracking jokes and taunting the audience. The fans, most of whom had parents lurking in the back of the venue, enjoyed every minute.
Smash Mouth played the favorites like “Walking On The Sun,” “You’re The Fonz,” and finished out with “I’m a Believer” and “All-Star,” which had the audience up on their feet and jumping around.
“Steve and I have been together a long time now and we’re just having fun,” Smash Mouth founder Paul DeLisle told CaliforniaRocker.com after the show. “We love playing the Canyon and our fans are so great, it was a great night.”
What was unexpected and excellent, were the opening bands, Strange Case and Paper, the former of which brought out a gigantic dancing dinosaur.
Paper impressed with their energy, and sound and image that was complimentary to Smash Mouth. DeLisle even commented on how much he liked the Southern Caliifornia-based band.
“Their music is really good, this was a good fit tonight,” he said. “They have some cool songs.”
Paper is Hoyt Yeatman, singer-guitarist, Jeff Demorest, drummer and Kyle Hart, bassist and backing singer.
Check out Paper on Soundcloud