Sugar Ray, Better Than Ezra, Uncle Kracker team up for ’90s revival concert

In 2015, people know Mark McGrath better as the host of “Extra” than as the frontman for Sugar Ray. If you say “music” and “Ezra” together, youth will assume you’re talking about the lead singer of Vampire Weekend, not Better Than Ezra. And Uncle Kracker sounds more like a parody children’s cereal from a YouTube sketch.

For the tail end of Generation X, though, those three bands can make up a soundtrack to the late-’90s, a musical era that was post-Cobain and pre-Napster, when MTV was just starting to lose its grip on trend setting and “Macarena” could be the song of the summer.

It was a time when Limp Bizkit could go seven times platinum. Really!

For those who remember “Closing Time” as something other than an ironic night-ender, the late-’90s will be in full effect at the Stone Pony, with Sugar Ray, Better than Ezra, Uncle Kracker and Eve 6 all taking the stage. But this night is only one of several recent returns and rebirths — some welcome, some otherwise — that make us wonder if time travel has been invented. What should we be happy to see again? And what do we wish had stayed in the last millennium?


Clearly Canadian and Original New York Seltzer: The favored drinks of brown-bagging school children everywhere, these sparkling light sodas fell out of favor (ONYS in the early-’90s, Clearly Canadian a bit later), but are returning thanks to successful Kickstarter campaigns.

Cassette tapes: A combination of mixtape nostalgia and lower production cost than vinyl have revived what was once thought to be a dead medium. It may not get as big as the record renaissance, but expect experiments from indie bands and rarities from major artists over the next few years.

Strong female-fronted rock: In the past two years, there have been new albums from Sleater-Kinney, Veruca Salt and Luscious Jackson. In addition, L7 is heading back on the road this fall. Before St. Vincent, these women were on the bleeding edge of alt-rock.


Zubaz: The zebra-esque pants returned to production in the latter part of the last decade. The only positive to the production of these fashion disasters, originally marketed to weightlifters, is that people can throw out their assuredly disgusting pairs from the early-’90s.

“Scream”: The comedic horror franchise started as a self-referential fright fest and, in 2015, has morphed into an embarrassment to both comedy and horror as a rebooted television series on MTV.

IF YOU GO: Sugar Ray, Better Than Ezra, Uncle Kracker and Eve 6 perform on Aug. 21 at 5 p.m. at the Stone Pony, 913 Asbury Park, New Jersey, 732-502-0600, $52.