Put your Money where your Mouth is

While we are all in favor of eclectic festival lineups, there’s something about the placing of ’90s alt-things Smash Mouth immediately before middle of the road rocker Eddie Money on the Main Stage at Arts Beats & Eats this Friday that seems a touch bizarre. But hey, Kool & the Gang was awesome opening for Van Halen last year, so you never know.

Much like Soul Asylum, Smash Mouth were hip and cool with the college crowd relatively recently (although I might be showing my age there). Alongside Sublime, they were the poster children for the surf-stoners - the real life Spicolis with the Owen Wilson hair and nonexistent pupils, experimenting with vegetarianism until the munchies took them past a White Castle.

Meanwhile, Eddie Money was never ‘cool’, not even at his peak. Don’t think of that as an insult – it really doesn’t matter. In fact, the lack of a fashionista stamp of approval often (though not always) breeds longevity, as is the case here. You get the feeling that Money’s ample tongue is at least partially in his cheek, as his appearances on shows like King of Queens would suggest. Money is a talented singer, songwriter and musician, but he’s also the very definition of mainstream rock.

Eddie Money is considered something of an adopted son (like J Geils and the band) here in Detroit, and he opens up the summer concert season at the DTE Energy Pine Knob Music Theatre every year. The place is never empty, and the fact that he’s back AGAIN for a second appearance within months is testament to his popularity here.

As for Smash Mouth – meh. They have come to define Californian emptiness. But hey, if it’s a hot day, a song like “Walkin’ on the Sun” might be the perfect warm up for Eddie. Still, “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Take Me Home Tonight” are far, far better.

Hip or not, Money’s alright with us.

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