MIAMI, Okla. — Don’t be too surprised if Everclear’s front man, Art Alexakis, looks much more relaxed and loose on stage Saturday night at Buffalo Run Casino than he was the last time he performed in the Four-State Area, back in 2015.
On Nov. 13 of that year, Everclear was headlining the Zerkapalooza Music Festival at Memorial Hall as part of the band’s “Sparkle and Fade” 20th anniversary tour. Hours before the Joplin concert, a coordinated attack orchestrated by the Islamic State group killed 131 people in a series of bombings and mass shootings across Paris, France, including bombs going off outside an Eagles of Death Metal concert. At the time of the concert, Alexakis’ oldest daughter, Annabella, was somewhere in Paris.
“For a couple of hours, about an hour before the show and an hour after the show, I didn’t know about my daughter’s whereabouts,” Alexakis said during a phone interview with the Globe on Wednesday. Still, he performed his duties on stage, he said. Only later, after the show, did he find out she was safe and with friends.
Not once, however, did he think about canceling the show.
“You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” he said. “You’ve got to go and put out a show.”
It’s been said that Everclear’s songs, particularly those during the band’s 1990s heyday, spoke for a generation of kids who had been hurt in a variety of ways, mainly by the people they most trusted. For example, the song “Wonderful” has been sought out by children then and now who’d suffered as they watched their parents split apart. A majority of Everclear’s songs, in fact, were drawn directly from Alexakis’ life experiences — whether it was the trauma of his father abandoning him at an early age or when his drug addiction nearly cost him his life at the age of 22.
“I used to have a real problem with musicians being called artists,” Alexakis said.
Since then, he’s changed his mind: “I am an artist. (We) create something from nothing. In the end, I just grew up and wrote songs that give a damn.”
Overall, Everclear has enjoyed a lengthy career spanning 11 studio releases, numerous videos, thousands of shows and accolades that include a 1998 Grammy nomination.
Saturday’s concert, beginning at 8 p.m., will be all about “big guitars and rock ‘n’ roll,” he said, with some hard rock and some punk thrown in for flavoring. Expect all the fan favorites — “Father of Mine,” “Everything to Everyone,” “Santa Monica” and “Heroine Girl — plus new tunes from the band’s two most recent studio albums, “Invisible Stars” and 2015’s “Black is the New Black.”
“Listen, I look at what I do as a blessing,” the 57-year-old rock star said. “I get to play a guitar for a living and play in front of thousands of people. That’s a blessing. And I don’t take it lightly. There’s so much I’m grateful for.”
Tickets are $31.
Although this is the time of year when entertainment concerts are far and few between, Buffalo Run Casino is simply getting started.
“We have a few names coming ... in the next few months,” said Ryan Stewart, director of marketing, including “the Marshall Tucker Band, Black Stone Cherry, (comedian) Whitney Cummings” and her “How Dare You” show as well as, in February alone, comedian Nikki Glaser and her “Bang It Out” comedy tour on Saturday, Feb. 15 and rock band Puddle of Mudd on Saturday, Feb. 29.
Add to those options a murder mystery dinner, World Fighting Championships (March 14), boxing matches and comedy, Stewart continued, “this is a planned strategy to introduce our property to future guests that might not come (here) unless we do shows.”