In one of ten stops on their summer tour, Vertical Horizon closed Saturday evening off at Skokie’s Back Lot Bash last weekend. While the band needs no introduction, led by Matt Scannell (lead vocals and guitar), Vertical Horizon was a pop alternative rock sensation of the late 1990’s with their breakout album Everything You Want. They were a band coming out of a special decade in music with the likes of Fastball, The Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind, Sugar Ray, Collective Soul, and many more.
Scannell walked on stage in reception to an anxious and warm crowd, ready to sing along with bright smiles and eyes. Opening with “We Are,” the first single on Everything You Want, the band’s timing and execution were flawless. It’s a song that sets a beautiful tone to their shows. After seeing them three times, I can say this is their core opener! Scannell is a man who undoubtedly loves life. He has a warm charisma that shines endlessly on stage. When he speaks to the audience, his vibrancy just makes you smile. Admittedly, he shared that “many of [my] songs are sad or emotional” but the crowd still sings in response or on their own to the likes of “Finding Me,” “You’re a God,” “Grey Sky Morning,” “I’m Still Here,” or “Everything You Want.”
Experiencing a Vertical Horizon show is what music should always be about; it makes you feel good. And this experience was exactly that. It was the unity of vocals, drums, guitar, bass, and an audience merged together for a live experience. We can clap, smile, laugh, or even shed a tear in awe.