First Time, Last Time: Steve Harwell Sings "All Star"

Smash Mouth's Steve Harwell, the spikey haired singer whose hit single "All Star" was catapulted to fame thanks to the first Shrek movie, died Monday, September 4, of liver failure after a brief stint in hospice. He was 56.

"Steve Harwell was a true American Original," the band's manager, Robert Hayes, told USA Today

"A larger than life character who shot up into the sky like a Roman candle. Steve should be remembered for his unwavering focus and impassioned determination to reach the heights of pop stardom. And the fact that he achieved this near-impossible goal with very limited musical experience makes his accomplishments all the more remarkable," Hayes said about the singer who led the Bay Area band since 1994.

The opening of the original Shrek was the perfect fit for "All Star"

Smash Mouth's "All Star" officially came out in May 1999 as the second single off the band's 1999 sophomore album Astro Lounge. Although it is best known for appearing in the opening credits of Shrek in 2001, it first appeared in the films Mystery Men, Inspector Gadget and Rat Race.

All the exposure helped the album go triple platinum, while the single reached #4.

Smash Mouth pinned this tweet today to the top of their Twitter account in honor of their original singer.

The first time the band performed the song live was in 1997 at one of the largest venues they'd appear in, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Smash Mouth was opening for U2 and played "Walkin' On The Sun," the tune that got them on the map, from their 1997 debut Fu Manchu.

First time Smash Mouth played All Star was opening for U2.

"['Walkin' On The Sun'] was basically a social and racial battle cry. It was a sort of 'can't we all get along?' song for the time when I wrote it," Camp told Song Facts.

"It was just about all the things that were going on around me as a young person. And I'm, like, God, what is going on? I don't understand why this is happening. It's like we might as well be walking around a planet on fire. And that's how it came about," he explained.

With a limited time on stage of the U2 PopMart stage, Smash Mouth then played "All Star," which the 71,000 in attendance probably had never heard before. And ended their set with the War classic.

While we don't have any video footage of Smash Mouth that night, this is what the ticket looked like.

The tune has been covered by groups like Reel Big Fish, Weird Al, The Barenaked Ladies, The Chainsmokers, All Time Low and Grace Potter.

Its official video has been seen 458 million times.

Weird Al singing "All Star" in Hollywood in 2020.

The last time the band played it was at the tumultuous appearance at the Bethel Hills New York, October 9, 2021. The singer announced his retirement soon afterwards. The band replaced Hawell with Zach Goode, who wrote a statement after his predecessor was pronounced dead.

"Today, my heart goes out to Steve’s family and friends," Goode wrote. "Although we never met personally, I have an enormous amount of respect for what he accomplished and the legacy that he left behind. Steve was a legend."

The most recent time the new Smash Mouth sang "All Star" was eight days ago in Kentucky

He continued, "Smash Mouth songs have been the soundtrack to so many people’s lives and I’m honored to care for them in my own little way, even if only for a while. I love singing these songs every night and carrying on the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll in front of the best fans in the world. I will continue to try, in my own way, to honor what Steve and the band have created. These songs deserve to live on and be heard."

Smash Mouth with Goode fronting the band have a few shows scheduled through October, including one with the Spin Doctors in Cerritos. Tickets available on their website.

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