Photos by Ken Lackner & Review by Ryan Swerdlin
Every once in a while it is healthy to take a step back and remember where you came from. This was the case for the attendees at Verizon Wireless Encore Park Friday night July 26th when “The Last Summer on Earth” tour passed through town on the tail end of tour. It was a gorgeous evening in Alpharetta and fans were taken back to the mid 90’s by some great bands of the time. Supporting on this tour was comedic act Boothby Graffoe, Guster, and Ben Folds Five with Barenaked Ladies headlining.
Guster put on a high energy performance. The venue was not yet full but it was apparent that the band paid no mind and played almost to each person individually. At one point Ryan Miller, lead singer of Guster, pointed out specific people and their dance moves…applauding them for moves he himself had never seen in his life.
After Guster’s set, Ben Folds Five came on and began their set with some slow intricate tunes before blasting into some of their older material such as “Brick” and “Song For The Dumped”. Their set closed with an impromptu version of “Rock This Bitch” with Robert Sledge’s son (who I believe is around 5 years old) performing some pretty intense Karate and Tai-Chi on the side of the stage.
Barenaked Ladies came on next and brought out artists throughout their set who had performed before them that evening. Ryan Miller joined the band for “Gonna Walk” which was a nice treat. Comedian Boothby Gaffoe joined the band on “Be My Yoko Ono” for some light comic relief throughout the tune. Then The Ladies played some of their more well known hits for the crowd at Encore Park. Tunes like “Brian Wilson” and “If I Had $1,000,000” brought the crowd back to simple times when they might not have had as many cares as they do here in 2013.
Shows like this don’t come around as often as they used to. As a famous Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Well everyone at Encore Park Friday night was treated to a stroll through the 90’s with style, and I think everyone was able to take it all in.