Thursday, April 19
Eve 6 have a classic rock & roll story: Their self-titled 1998 debut sold over a>"/>
Thursday, April 19 El Corazon
Thursday, April 19
Eve 6 have a classic rock & roll story: Their self-titled 1998 debut sold over a million copies on the strength of the hit "Inside Out." Their follow-up did substantially less well, and their third album did even worse, fueling the band's eventual dismissal from RCA and their subsequent breakup. But after several years apart and after battling some demons, all three original members have returned to the fold to release Speak in Code, their first record in nearly a decade, which also finds the band back out on tour, with a stop in Seattle at El Corazon on Thursday night.
Unlike other recently reunited rock trios with words and letters in their name and hits in the late '90s (I'm looking at you, Blink-182), Eve 6 seem content to recapture some of that old magic rather than push themselves into new directions, which isn't a dis assuming you like your Eve 6 exactly as you remember them. Not only haven't the band's songs evolved a whole lot on Speak in Code, but they even recruited Don Gilmore to produce it -- the same guy who produced their early, most successful records, though this time it's for indie label Fearless instead of the majors.
Eve 6 were tight and well-oiled on Thursday, having learned plenty in all those years on the road. They seemed genuinely pleased to be back out playing again, and just as happy to play their hits as they were their new songs. Singer-bassist Max Collins, who doesn't seem to have aged in the years since the band's breakup, kept the crowd engaged and the set moving along. He encouraged the packed room to raise their lighters and cell phones for their 2000 hit "Here's to the Night," and he kept fans jumping, clapping and singing along at every opportunity. He also thanked 107.7 The End for playing their new single "Victoria." Both the thank you and the song itself seemed a throwback to Y2K, a time when corporate rock stations still put on big summer festivals -- and still comprised their playlists of mostly new music.
Given that Eve 6 got a record deal when they were still in high school, it's not surprising that the band flamed out as quickly as they ignited. But a decade and a half later, with a little more life under their belts, the band seems humbled by their early success and decline -- and grateful for the chance to do it again. Tour buses have been replaced with vans, theaters with clubs, and expensive videos with YouTube uploads, but the show didn't feel overly nostalgic. Instead, it felt like a band renewed, and one ready to play a set of new songs that sound just like the old ones -- to a crowded club full of the people who love them most. "We wrote this song when we were assholes," Collins said, revealing a bit of introspection before launching into "Inside Out," the song that put the band on the map. Perhaps Speaking in Code isn't just a reunion, but a redemption.