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'All Stars' rock Mayo Park

'90s rockers draw biggest crowd yet in this year's Down by the Riverside Concert series.

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Smash Mouth performs at Mayo Park as part of the Down by the Riverside concert series Sunday, July 25, 2021. John Molseed / Post Bulletin

Somebody once told me Smash Mouth was coming to town.

However, a pandemic rolled through the world.

Originally announced as part of the 2020 Down by the Riverside concert series, the Smash Mouth concert (and all live music at Mayo Park) was canceled for the year.

However, the delay did not diminish the '90s rock band’s draw Sunday evening.

Stephanie Sell found her seat right at the barrier between the crowd and the stage. She arrived early to secure the seat.

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“I have a feeling in 1998, this would have cost me $100,” she said of her front-row view.

The band has held steady popularity with people who grew up in the 1990s, and continues to gain young appreciators thanks to the "Shrek" movie franchise, which opens with Smash Mouth’s mega hit, “All Star.”

“Of course, we were going to be here,” Sell said of herself and her companion, Joe Couch. “We’re millennials, and we grew up with Smash Mouth.”

Chris DeGuise grabbed a front-and-center lawn seat. He attends most Riverside concerts, but makes a point to make it to the rock ones. Plus, he said he appreciates Smash Mouth’s music.

“A lot of the ‘90s was grunge,” he said. “They came along and did high-energy rock-and-roll again.”

Smash Mouth has also indirectly helped him earn part of his living. DeGuise owns Mainstream Music DJ and Karaoke. He’s heard many renditions of “All Star” and their cover of the Monkees’ “Daydream Believer.”

“Some good and some not so good,” he said. “They’re very popular yet.”

Steve Schmidt, director of Rochester Civic Music, said the turnout was the largest so far this year, with thousands already in the park and more people filing in as opener Push and Turn was playing.

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Although the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Riverside concert series to cancel in 2020, Smash Mouth stayed active and made headlines when the group played in South Dakota during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Frontman Steve Harwell mocked COVID, and the rally was tied to thousands of cases of the virus , including at least one death in Minnesota.

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Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell performs Sunday, July 25, 2021, at Mayo Park as part of the Down by the Riverside concert series. (John Molseed / Post Bulletin)

Schmidt said the incident was taken into consideration, but that Sunday’s show was a fulfillment of the 2020 contract.

“Did it give us a little pause?” he said. “It certainly did."

“But this is what we’re doing it for,” he added, gesturing to the crowd at Mayo Park.

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A crowd watches Smash Mouth perform at Mayo Park as part of the Down by the Riverside concert series Sunday, July 25, 2021. John Molseed / Post Bulletin

John Molseed joined the Post Bulletin in 2018. He covers arts, culture, entertainment, nature and other fun stories he's surprised he gets paid to cover. When he's not writing articles about Southeast Minnesota artists and musicians, he's either picking banjo, brewing beer, biking or looking for other hobbies that begin with the letter "b." Readers can reach John at 507-285-7713 or jmolseed@postbulletin.com.
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