With nearly 20 years of musical explorations — and six name changes — under its belt, Fastball is one of the most continuously celebrated rock bands on the road these days.
Tony Scalzo, Miles Zuniga and Joey Shuffield bring their pop-rock music to Nightfall in Miller Plaza on Friday, July 21.
Fastball formed in Austin, Texas, in 1995. When they started out, the guys tried out several names: Star 69, Magneto, Magneto USA, Ed Clark’s Business Bible and Starchy, before finally settling on Fastball.
They rose to prominence in 1996 with the debut disc “Make Your Mama Proud,” then exploded into a household name with 1998’s breakthrough album “All the Pain Money Can Buy.”
If you go
› What: Fastball at Nightfall
› Where: Miller Plaza, 850 Market St.
› When: 7 p.m. Midnight Promise opens; 8 p.m. Fastball, Friday, July 21
› Admission: Free
› For more information: www.nightfall chattanooga.com
“All the Pain Money Can Buy” reached platinum sales within six months of its release and stayed on the Billboard 200 chart for a year.
“At first, the success felt weird because it happened so fast,” says Shuffield.
“We were playing constantly, sometimes multiple shows per day, but the big game-changer for me was when we pulled up at a festival in Atlanta in our little van and parked alongside the Foo Fighters’ bus.
“We couldn’t really see the audience from backstage, but when we walked to the stage, there were about 20,000 people out there ready to hear all the day’s music.
“All of a sudden I realized it was going to be way bigger than I ever thought it was going to be, and it was a huge lifting of the veil,” he explains.
Since then, the band’s been nominated for two Grammy Awards: Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Long Form Music Video for their promotional video “The Way.”
“I think we’ve grown into a really good rock ‘n’ roll band that’s way better than we’ve ever been,” Zuniga says.
“We have an audience that’s stuck with us the whole time. Playing shows never feels like work because it’s a ton of fun.
“We know people want to hear the hits, and we definitely have those in there, but we try to play something off every record, have some improvisational moments without turning into a jam band.
“Half the time, I start calling out the set list as we go. It all depends on the night and the barometric pressure of the audience.”
“Make Your Mama Proud,” 1996
“All The Pain Money
Can Buy,” 1998
” The Harsh Light of Day,” 2000
“Keep Your Wig On,” 2004
“Little White Lies,” 2009
“Step Into Light,” 2017
Final Noontunes concert Wednesday
Seaux Chill will present the final Noontunes concert for this season at Miller Plaza, 850 Market St., on Wednesday, July 26, at noon. The R&B concert is free.