Under the Sun Tour: A 90s kid’s dream come true

First, don’t forget to enter my Frog Fuel giveaway and read my review. I will pick a winner Friday. Now, for an actual post!

When I was at the corporate office on Wednesday, I checked my personal email to find a message from The Post and Courier newspaper that made my day.


I won a newspaper giveaway for two tickets to the Under the Sun tour in North Charleston, featuring Fastball, Vertical Horizon, Gin Blossoms, Sugar Ray, and Smash Mouth. All of those were some of my favorite bands as a preteen/teen, so I was super excited. I knew the concert would be packed with people mine and Clay’s age who wanted to relive their teen years.


Plus, the tickets started at $42.50, which is a little pricey for a concert, even with five great bands. Keep in mind, Clay and I are on the House Poor Summer Tour over here after our big purchase in May. Maybe I should do a post on that? Entering giveaways to win cool stuff…

I got back into Charleston and spent my Friday lunch break downtown picking up the tickets. The lady at The Post and Courier insisted on taking a picture of me with the tickets (apparently they do this for the winners? Good thing I wore real girl clothes…), so I got her to take one for me too.


I enter a lot of giveaways, and I love winning the local ones because I can try new local places on the cheap or for free. The lady at the newspaper office was so happy to give me the tickets- she said 3 of the winners of the American Idol tour tickets didn’t even show up to pick them up, or let her know they wouldn’t get the tickets. That’s pretty messed up- who’d turn down a free concert?

After picking up the tickets, I headed home to work a few more hours, eat dinner, and get ready for the show, which was at the North Charleston Coliseum. It was my first time being in there since I was a kid going to the circus, but we thought the sound was a bit off and like the Family Circle Tennis Center (We saw Last Summer on Earth there last year– much better venue. Surprisingly the concert wasn’t packed either.


Most of my concert pictures turned out really bad, but ladies… take my word for it that Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray looks just like he did in 1998, which is much better than the stars who 13-year-olds are crushing on today!

All of the bands performed their hits from the late 1990s and early 2000s, but Sugar Ray and Smash Mouth performed a few new songs. I didn’t realize those bands were making new music, so I might check out their new stuff on Spotify to see if there’s anything cool.

The other couple on our row also won tickets from the newspaper, and they took this cute picture of us.


Clay and I had a great time at the concert and spent a grand total of $5… to park. We skipped the $9 beers and overpriced concessions and just enjoyed the night.

We left a little early, but it was still 11:30 when we got home and 11:45 when I got to bed! I ended up running my 18.3 mile long run on 4 hours of sleep (and still running strong), but definitely crashed Saturday night/Sunday morning and slept in- if it was worth it.

If you get a chance to see any of those five bands performed, don’t miss out on it. It brought back a lot of memories for me, and I hope they come back to Charleston next year!

Who were your favorite bands growing up? I loved all five of these bands, but I also liked boy bands (Hanson, Backstreet Boys), Dave Matthews Band, and Christian bands like DC Talk and Audio Adrenaline.

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28 Responses to Under the Sun Tour: A 90s kid’s dream come true

  1. Loved Smashmouth and Sugar Ray! Wow, what a great night!

  2. Sounds like an awesome time! Love all those bands. My favorite growing up? Hootie of course! And ace of base

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Oh yes! I loved Hootie too, I still love Darius’ new country music. I got to see him actually, when he came to my college to perform with his big band back in like 2005… I had a crappy view and it was a concert that people paid hundreds of dollars to see (most of that going toward the school). I was a student marshall and had to stand and great people and dress all fancy. But I guess I can say I did see him at least…

  3. Oh, man! I loved Fastball!

    Actually a lot of those same bands are coming to Orlando to perform in Epcot this year. Mr PugRunner was looking at the series yesterday.

    I’m a child of the 80s, so my musical stylings included Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and NKOTB.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Ah, NKOTB! They came to North Carolina a few weeks ago and I saw so many Facebook pictures from it, it was tons of people in their upper 20s, low 30s at the concert :). I was a little too young for them and in the “I hate boys” stage at that time but some of my friends really liked them.

      They did have good music, original boy group :).

  4. spectacuLAUR says:

    As I said before, I am totally jealous you got to re-live the 90s! I saw the Backstreet Boys are doing concerts again, too, so I really hope they have cheap tickets somewhere around me! Lol There is nothing better than re-living the past! And you’re totally right about Mark being better looking than half the tween stars today. At least he wasn’t peeing in trashcans, taking half nude pictures, and just being a complete little asshole. (Ah-hem Justin Bieber)

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Agreed :). And Sugar Ray’s music back in the 90s was better than the teen music today… and better than a lot of the teen music in the 90s.

      Backstreet Boys have some newer stuff, although I guess it’s a few years old now. Brian and Nick both had solo careers, I think Brian just does Christian music now. AJ went to rehab. Not sure what the others are up to.

  5. jeksca says:

    I love entering contests like this one. How fun!

  6. Amy says:

    Fun! You guys look so cute at the show! For sure, I would have gone to pick up tickets looking like a slob and they would have taken my picture. It always works like that 🙂 I now have all the Gin Blossoms’ songs in my head. Loved them so much back then!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Haha, I was on my way to Mt. P for lunch, so fortunately I looked nice! I do not normally dress or look like that during the week when I am working from home, lol (shorts and a t-shirt for me!).

      I’ve been listening to these bands on Spotify this week too :). Takes me back!

  7. Awesome! I love Smash Mouth haha

  8. I was DMB obsessed and probably went to 8 of their concerts.
    This show sounded fun though because I listened to all those bands as kids.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, DMB was probably more your time too since you’re a couple years older than me. After all, I was into these bands the same time I was into boy groups (and, I have no shame in saying I was into BSB and Hanson).

      Plus DMB did a ton of concerts- they were always on tour.

  9. OMG that would be such an awesome concert, definitely listened t all of them growing up! COngrats, and glad you had such a good time! This makes me laugh because I just saw Sugar Ray on TV the other day too!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I hadn’t seen them in forever, until the concert of course! But yesterday the top songs of the 90s special was on VH1 so I listened to the songs/videos, that really brought back some memories too!

  10. martha84 says:

    This looks like a blast. I love winning free stuff and I am such a 90s kid! I can’t believe all those bands are still touring! My guilty pleasure this summer has been the 90s summer BBQ (I think that’s what it’s called) station on Pandora! All good stuff like this!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I don’t have pandora for that station :(. I do have 90s station on Spotify, but sometimes it plays music from the early 2000s (oops, I guess I know music better than Spotify). I might have to look into that :).

  11. Stephanie says:

    That is totally awesome!!!! What a kick back to the 90s, ooo Smash Mouth. That is awesome

  12. That is really cool how many different things you get to do for discounts or free. I can’t believe those people didn’t pick up free tickets but each to their own.

    My favorite band was 98 degrees haha.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, they didn’t even let the paper know. It would have been nice for them to email or call and say they couldn’t go, maybe they could have picked another winner? Or given them to a staff member? The tickets just weren’t used :(.

  13. Sounds like you had fun! Isn’t Backstreet boys coming to SC soon too??? lol. (I saw them on AGT the other night… at least you knew that they were singing live, and it wasn’t a CD)
    Hope you can enter giveaways for your house and stuff! that would be really cool. Do they do that??? lol

    Have a great day!

  14. allieksmith says:

    What a fun time! I used to LOVE Smash Mouth haha!! Brings back old memories, even though I was super young!

    I loooove the last picture of you and Clay!

  15. Nerri says:

    Mmmm Mark McGrath! 😉 I absolutely love ALL those bands – how crazy amazing is it that you got to see them all in concert together?! For free! Love that.

    BSB is doing a reunion tour and they are coming to Raleigh ON MY BIRTHDAY! So the local radio has been playing a ton of their songs and I realized that even now … I still know all the lyrics to all the songs! Our brains are crazy little information-retainers.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I have BSB on my Ipod for running! I love Larger than Life, it’s one of my favorite running songs and always gets me pumped. I want to add a few more of their songs before the marathon, too. I’m kinda jealous they are coming to your town, wish they would come to Charleston! Hope you get to go to the concert.

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