The musical headliners for this weekend’s Grand Prix festivities is Live, a band you may remember from its 1994 alternative radio hit “Lightning Crashes.” In that song, they namedrop a placenta, and from what I can tell, they haven’t done anything particularly interesting in the 20 years since. Ed Kowalczyk, the band’s bald, emotive lead singer left the band in 2009, so they’re pretty much a pure nostalgia act at this point. And they’re not the only 1990s throwback act planning a Baltimore stop in the near future.
A few short months later, Pearl Jam is scheduled to play an already-sold-out show at the First Mariner Arena. Unlike Live, they actually have a new album to show off, but I imagine the crowd will probably be clamoring for all those 1990s-era hits. (Pardon me while I go hide in the closet and sing every song from Ten in a row in my best yowling Eddie Vedder voice.)
I said it last year and I’ll say it again — what’s with all the 1990s nostalgia? I know the Rolling Stones are a bazillion years old and they’re still touring…. but Live is certainly no Rolling Stones. I’m not saying all music from the 1990s was bad — just that any band worth its salt probably had a crucial member die of a heroin overdose or suicide, so we’re left with the alt-rock dregs. There is, however, a light at the end of the tunnel: the “Mark McGrath & Friends Cruise,” a high seas adventure featuring Sugar Ray, the Spin Doctors, and Smash Mouth, got cancelled after not enough people signed up.