It was a night for songs and stories in Chicago at City Winery. The small venue was a perfect setting for a unique, intimate, one man show performed by Art Alexakis, the lead singer/songwriter and guitarist of Everclear, the mid-1990’s alternative rock band with three straight platinum selling albums. Opening up with “Strawberry”, Art stood alone onstage with only a guitar and his stories. Fans of the talented performer know about his troubled early life. His father abandoned the family, his brother overdosed on heroin, and a girlfriend committed suicide. Sadly Alexakis suffered all three tragedies in the space of a few years, and somehow managed to overcome the pain and suffering of his past to create memorable songs with his band and as a solo performer is nothing short of a miracle. Music also helped Alexakis transcend the past and build a bright future.
The crowd loved every minute of it, and more than once he fielded questions from one of the roomful of fans. He slowly ran through Everclear’s greatest hits, while in between talking about the things and the emotions that helped create those songs. Before playing “Everything for Everyone”, Art explained the origin. “I wrote this song for the President of Capitol Records when I was at Capitol. He wasn’t too pissed about it.” Other songs were touched on, especially “Father of Mine”. Art shared, “I’ve never gotten so much feedback about any song in both good and bad ways. I’ll get some guy who says, ‘Man that song really pisses me off, it makes me feel bad that I should have been a better Father to my kids , especially when they email it to me.’” Art laughed and said as a reply to this anonymous guy, “I just don’t know what to tell you man. I didn’t write it for you but hey if the shoe fits…”Finally with the last song, “Watch the World Die”, Art explains, “This is a song that bought me a couple of houses, and bought me a couple of divorces too. For me they go hand in hand.”