BLUES TRAVELER, SUGAR RAY, UNCLE KRACKER, AND SMASH MOUTH
UNITE FOR ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF ALTERNATIVE POP ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
ALL-STAR TOUR TO HIT MORE THAN 33 CITIES ACROSS THE NATION,
GETTING UNDERWAY JUNE 27TH AT OMAHA’S MEMORIAL PARK
Under The Sun, the annual festival tour celebrating the golden age of alternative pop rock ‘n’ roll, will return for another summer run, this time starring a spectacular line-up that includes Blues Traveler, Sugar Ray, Uncle Kracker, and Smash Mouth. In addition, other chart-topping stars from the era – including such iconic combos as Gin Blossoms and Sister Hazel – will join the caravan for selected dates. Under The Sun 2014 gets underway Friday, June 27th at Omaha’s Memorial Park and then continues through the summer (see attached itinerary). Additional dates will be announced shortly.
“Looking forward to once again spending the summer with my friends, performing the hits we all love,” says Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath. “This is one of the strongest lineups we have put together so far. All four bands are capable of headlining Under The Sun, so get there early!”
“This is going to be the party of the summer,” affirms Uncle Kracker. “Can’t wait to hit the road with some of my old friends, looking forward to making some new ones.”
2013’s inaugural Under The Sun tour was among last year’s most popular and acclaimed events, earning ecstatic media attention with each stop along the way. Critical applause also came from all corners, with Entertainment Weekly officially declaring UTS13 to be “the coolest tour of the summer!” In addition to major features in such nationally read publications as Billboard and the Los Angeles Times, LATFUSA.com hailed the UTS show at Los Angeles’ legendary Greek Theatre as “a nostalgic night with unbelievable energy radiating from both the stage and the audience.” “If you missed this one, your loss,” noted Examiner.com, “it was amazing… a great show, very energetic and a real crowd pleaser.” Michigan’s Oakland Press applauded Under The Sun as “an upbeat evening of ’90s nostalgia… a funny four-hour package show of pop and alternative hits from the final decade of the 20th century,” while the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette praised the “packed” Stage AE date, noting, “each of the groups has a sizable following that will continue to fill venues for years to come, no matter how far they are removed from their youth… Their childhood soundtracks haven’t missed a beat.” “What a remarkable time,” raved OmahaNightlife.com, “what a happy night, what a show.” ColumbusUnderground.com summed it up best, decreeing Under The Sun 2013 to be “one of the best shows I’ve seen on the outdoor stage… a celebration of the last great era for alternative music that delivered exactly as expected, all with the promise of another show next year that could again become one of the highlights on the summer calendar.”
The Under The Sun headliners were all also over the airwaves, making an array of high profile TV appearances. Among the most memorable moments was a week’s worth of showcase performances on VH1’s Big Morning Buzz with Carrie Keagan, live from the famed Sunset Plaza House high in the Hollywood Hills. Those live performances and interviews can be viewed now exclusively via VH1.com. Highlights include Smash Mouth performing “Walkin’ On The Sun” (http://on.vh1.com/117SUIv), while Sugar Ray can be seen performing both “Someday” (http://on.vh1.com/11vuASh) and “Fly” (http://on.vh1.com/17JlGS0).
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For nearly three decades, Blues Traveler has taken a wide array of musical styles – from pop, folk and R&B to psychedelic soul and Southern rock – and transformed them into their own inimitable brand of free-spirited rock ‘n’ roll. In addition to worldwide album sales in excess of 13 million, the New Jersey-based band has performed close to 6,000 live shows, bringing crossover hits like the GRAMMY® Award-winning, Billboard top 10 smash, “Run-Around,” to nearly 30 million ecstatic fans worldwide. Like any outfit active for more than 25 years, Blues Traveler has weathered its share of obstacles, including frontman John Popper’s near fatal motorcycle accident and the tragic loss of founding bassist Bobby Sheehan. But true to its moniker, the band traveled on, maintaining an average touring pace of 250 shows each year and regularly releasing a series of compelling and creative new releases. Blues Traveler’s most recent studio outing, 2012’s acclaimed Suzie Cracks The Whip, saw bright new colors added to the band’s already jam-packed palette, fusing a gloriously modern pop energy to their masterful musicianship and ever-expanding creativity.
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Mark McGrath is a true original. Best known as lead singer/songwriter for Sugar Ray, the Southern California-native can lay claim to a stunning string of top 10 hits, including “Someday,” “When It’s Over,” and the twin #1 classics, “Fly” and “Every Morning.” McGrath and Sugar Ray proved worldwide fan favorites, with multiple multi-platinum albums (including the RIAA 3x platinum certified 14:59), countless sold out tours, innumerable TV appearances, and starring roles on the covers of such national publications as Spin and Rolling Stone. More than two decades since their foundation later, Sugar Ray remain devoted to the cause that united them, the pursuit of good times, sunshine, and great rock ‘n’ roll.
As if that weren’t enough, McGrath has enjoyed a high profile career as a multi-faceted TV personality, including his current role as host of truTV’s extreme singing competition series, Killer Karaoke. Among his many other credits are stints as co-host of the entertainment news program, Extra, and as host of the nationally syndicated Don’t Forget The Lyrics! A three-time champion on VH1’s Rock & Roll Jeopardy, McGrath has also appeared on such hugely successful series as Fox’s American Idol, NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice (Season 4), ABC’s Wife Swap and most recently, ABC’s hit sitcom, The Neighbors.
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Initially known for his role as DJ in Kid Rock’s legendary Twisted Brown Trucker band, Uncle Kracker soon staked his own claim for greatness via a unique stylistic synthesis of pop, rock, country, soul, blues, and even doo-wop. Known to his parents as Matt Shafer, the Detroit-based singer/songwriter made his stunning solo debut with 2001’s #1 smash, “Follow Me,” kicking off a run of top 10 multi-format hits like “In A Little While,” “Smile,” and of course, 2003’s record-setting cover of Dobie Gray’s classic “Drift Away.” As if that weren’t enough, the following year saw Uncle Kracker topping Billboard’s “Hot Country Songs” chart for five consecutive weeks with “When The Sun Goes Down,” his RIAA gold certified collaboration with country superstar Kenny Chesney.
In addition to nearly non-stop touring, Uncle Kracker has made numerous high-profile TV performances, including NBC’s The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, CBS’ The Early Show Saturday Edition, ABC’s Live! With Regis and Kelly, Fox’s American Country Awards, and an electrifying joint performance with Kid Rock on the ABC special, CMA Music Fest: Country’s Night To Rock.
Indeed, the proud Michigander has also maintained his role as one of Kid Rock’s closest friends and collaborators, co-writing such blockbuster hits as “Bawitdaba,” “Cowboy,” “Forever,” “Only God Knows Why,” and 2008’s #1 phenomenon, “All Summer Long.” Though it all, the one and only Uncle Kracker has continued to push the musical boundaries between his beloved Detroit and inspirational Nashville, most recently earning abundant acclaim for the full-on country approach of 2012’s Midnight Special.
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With their indelible, organ-powered style, Smash Mouth has long provided the sun-dappled soundtrack to summertime fun. The Southern California-based combo has earned sales exceeding six million albums in the US alone, fueled by a streak of unforgettable chart-topping hits including “Can’t Get Enough Of You, Baby,” “Then The Morning Comes,” and the #1 classics, “Walkin’ On The Sun” and “All Star.” Furthermore, the band’s songs – including distinctive covers like “I’m A Believer” and “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” performed in the inimitable Smash Mouth style – have been featured in a breathtaking array of film and TV programs, including The Simpsons, Can’t Hardly Wait, Half Baked, BASEketball, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, and of course, Shrek.
With founding members Steve Harwell and Paul De Lisle at the helm, Smash Mouth returned in full force last year with Magic, drawing praise once again for their ever-inventive beach party anthems. As if that weren’t enough, the hard touring band showed off their culinary credentials with Recipes From The Road, a rock ‘n’ roll cookbook/travelogue featuring contributions from such celebrity friends as Guy Fieri, Michael Symon, Sammy Hagar, and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Jerome Bettis.
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