Spotlight

Smash Mouth: Return to the Astro Lounge

Silver Reef Casino Resort

4876 Haxton Way

Ferndale

https://www.silverreefcasino.com/

In 1999, Lance Armstrong was winning his first Tour de France, Barbie was turning 40 years old, SpongeBob SquarePants was introduced and we were all preparing for whatever Y2K would bring.

In an old house that had been converted into a recording studio in Los Gatos, California, the members of Smash Mouth were under pressure and feeling it.

Their 1997 album, Fush You Mang, had yielded the surprise hit “Walkin’ On the Sun”—and, with its turn away from Smash Mouth’s ska/punk roots and toward a more radio-friendly pop sound, had caused divisions not only among their fans, but also within the band itself. How they followed that album had become an issue of critical importance. Looming over them were label expectations, the threat of being a one-hit wonder and nagging doubts about the change in their sound.

In short, they had a lot to prove—and they knew it.

They needn’t have worried.

The first single from 1999’s Astro Lounge was a test balloon launched a month before the album’s release. How the world received it would determine whether their musical gamble had paid off.

That debut single was “All Star,” and by the time it was done running roughshod over the radio waves, it was a Billboard Top Ten hit, was used prominently in the film Mystery Men (and would go on to a whole new life as an integral part of the Shrek franchise), and helped propel Astro Lounge to quadruple-platinum status and a Grammy nomination. Far from being just the song of the summer that year, “All Star” was everywhere. It could be heard on every radio station, was used heavily in television shows and movies—you couldn’t even go to the grocery store without hearing “Hey now, you’re an all-star, get your game on, go play” coming from the store’s speakers. “All Star” wasn’t just a song—it was a pop-culture phenomenon.

And it was just the beginning of the gifts Astro Lounge would keep giving Smash Mouth. The album also yielded “Then the Morning Comes,” “Can’t Get Enough of You Baby,” and “Come On Come On,” all of which climbed music charts and proved to be musical catnip for movie soundtracks, TV shows and national ad campaigns. If you felt like the late 1990s and early 2000s were saturated with Smash Mouth and Astro Lounge, you weren’t wrong about that.

Given that, it stands to reason the band, which is still together, would want to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Astro Lounge. For a band that spent two years touring on the album after its release, it only makes sense they’d once again want to bring it to the fans. They’ll be in our neck of the woods doing just that when they play at 7pm Sat., Sept. 21 at Silver Reef Casino Resort’s Event Center.

Back in 1999, when Astro Lounge was first released, seeing the band in an arena with tens of thousands of people might’ve seemed appealing, but these days, the idea of watching Smash Mouth, and partaking of the Silver Reef’s state-of-the-art gaming, full-service spa, luxury hotel rooms, award-winning Steak House, Loomis Trail Golf Course, and all of the other amenities offered definitely sounds like the superior way to go. Tickets to see Smash Mouth are $35-$55 and can be had at http://www.silverreefcasino.com. (Hot tip: We hear the Silver Reef’s social media pages are a treasure trove of ticket giveaways.) We’ll see you at the Reef.

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