Being the honest guy that I am, I’d like to state, from the get go, that when I initially saw Superdrag on the Bonnaroo Lineup, I wrote them off. Just as I did 12 years ago, when I finally satiated my craving for their first hit “Sucked Out“, way back in 1996. Did I mention that song took hundreds of listens before I finally tired of it?! That has to say something, right?
After my short obsession with that song, Superdrag was dead to me. I shelved the album and moved onto listening to other more legitimate artists like, Bone Thugs and the… cough, cough… Primitive Radio Gods. Little did I know, the band, made up of guitarist and lead vocalist John Davis, Tom Pappas on bass, Brandon Fisher on lead guitar and Don Coffey Jr. on drums, continued to make music through the remainder of the 90’s, and beyond. Under the guidance of producer and Hardcore Hitmaker Jerry Finn, most widely known for his work with Blink-182, their second album, Head Trip in Every Key, was released to favorable reviews but didn’t turn out any major hits.
Following Head Trip, the band continually tried to reinvent themselves with each record (drawing comparisons ranging from Elliot Smith to the Foo Fighters), doing anything to shed the “one-hit wonder” status that plagued them. Some sympathized with the band, Artists-zone.com referred to them as “being a band’s band that has often gone misunderstood.” Unfortunately it wasn’t enough and in 2002, they completed what would be their last album, appropriately titled Last Call for Vitriol. Following the release, Superdrag took an indefinite hiatus. Much of this stemmed from Davis, who decided to call it quits as he battled with alcoholism.
Fast-forward 5 years.
Last year, Superdrag announced their reunion in July of 2007 and played a host of shows with the original lineup of members. Since then, they have recorded a few new tracks and co-headlined a show with Nada Surf at Terminal 5 in NYC in early 2008. Now making their appearance at Bonnaroo, the big question remains, “Can they draw an audience on the success of one hit from way back in 1996? What about the host of albums gone under the radar?”
My gut tells me that, despite the many obstacles, they should do okay. They may have a few hardcore fans, but most people who show up will probably do it out of nostalgia. Either way, it should be a fun early-evening set, appropriately placed on Thursday, with not too much competition. If neither of the other bands up against them strikes you, then stop by and check them out. Or you can do what I am doing and drop in for a few songs before you move on to the competing acts, which both start a bit later than them.
Superdrag – “Sucked Out”