Traverse City Record-Eagle

July 5, 2013

Big hits on Big Night Out

By JAMES COOK jcook@record-eagle.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Where can you hear up to 29 top-40 songs live in one night?

The “Big Night Out” tour stops Saturday at Streeters’ Ground Zero to deliver three chart-topping bands from the early 2000s that boast a combined 29 top-40 singles as Fuel, Hoobastank and Alien Ant Farm.

The Traverse City show is the second on the 33-stop tour, a day after the first in Pikeville, Ky.

“The only other time we’ve been to Traverse, there was like four feet of snow around the bus,” Hoobastank lead singer Doug Robb said of the band’s Dec. 8, 2006 show in the area. “It was like we were in Antarctica, trying to find the venue. It was awesome. I suspect it won’t be the same this time.”

Robb said getting the bands — who all knew each other before — together for one big tour was a natural fit.

“We’ve known some of the Alien Ant Farm guys for over a decade,” he said. “We played shows with them prior to either one of us having record deals. ... But at some point in the last decade, we’ve played multiple shows with all those bands. And they’re all really cool.”

Lit was originally slated to be a fourth band on the tour, but announced on its web site last week that it would not be taking part in the tour due to “circumstances beyond our control.”

The last time Lit canceled an entire tour was in 2008, when drummer Allen Shellenberger was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He died the following year.

Lit has been replaced on the tour’s Traverse City show by Flint-based outfit Westfall.

“Even if you don’t know all the songs from all the bands, there’s going to be plenty of songs you know. All these bands have had significant radio hits — and multiple ones,” Robb said. “It makes for a fun night. That’s why it’s the Big Night Out.”

Hoobastank produced 13 top-40 singles over six albums. Fuel has cranked out a dozen hits, and Alien Ant Farm, four.

“It’s one of those tours where each band has a solid set of hardcore fans who are going to go, regardless,” Robb said. “But somebody hears about it, and they’ll go, ‘Oh yeah, I know some of Fuel’s stuff,’ and then they go, ‘Oh, and they’re playing with Alien Ant Farm, too?’ You pile on all the bands and their radio hits, it kind of makes for a long night of songs that everyone will know.”

With three bands sharing the same stage, they’ll have to condense their sets a little. Robb said each group will play for about an hour.

“At that point, we’re trying to fit as many singles and songs that we like into the set list — and hopefully it’s a good blend,” he said.

Among the four, Hoobastank is the group which had a hit most recently. “This Is Gonna Hurt” from the 2012 release “Fight or Flight” reached No. 28 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock charts. The album has the band’s distinct sound, but is a little different than previous releases.

“If you listen to it, you know it’s Hoobastank,” Robb said. “Nobody’s going to go, ‘What? That’s not them. It doesn’t sound anything like them.’ It sounds like us, but like an evolution of us. If anything, it’s a little darker. It’s got a vibe and a mood that kind of weaves its way through the record. It’s darker, but with some pop sensibility.”

The album could be the last one Hoobastank releases, if Robb has his way.

“Me personally, I’m at a point where I don’t even want to release CDs anymore,” Robb said. “We have our own studio, so we could literally pump out a couple songs — two, three songs a month — and put them up online and people can download them. That seems so much more efficient to get a constant stream of new music coming out and not having to wait for albums. I don’t know. We’ll see. Who knows, maybe before the year is over, we’ll just start pumping out music online and have it available that way.”

Tickets for the show are $30 in advance at groundzeroonline.com.

FUEL Song Year Peak chart pos. "Shimmer" 1998 11 "Bittersweet" 1998 15 "Sunburn" 1999 31 "Jesus or a Gun" 1999 24 "Hemorrhage (In My Hands) 2000 1 "Last Time" 2001 21 "Innocent" 2001 4 "Bad Day" 2001 9 "Won't Back Down" 2003 22 "Falls on Me" 2003 9 "Million Miles" 2004 16 "Wasted Time" 2007 24 HOOBASTANK "Crawling in the Dark" 2001 3 "Running Away" 2002 2 "Remember Me" 2002 23 "Out of Control" 2003 9 "The Reason" 2003 1 "Same Direction" 2004 14 "Disappear" 2004 16 "If I Were You" 2006 18 "Inside of You" 2006 27 "Born to Lead" 2006 25 "My Turn" 2008 23 "The Letter" 2009 39 "This is Gonna Hurt" 2012 28 ALIEN ANT FARM "Smooth Criminal" 2001 1 "Movies" 2002 5 "These Days" 2003 29 "Glow" 2003 5