Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008 | 6:56 p.m.
If Smash Mouth front man Steve Harwell could have it his way, he always perform in Las Vegas.
Barry Manilow has it good, said the pop/ska singer.
"Vegas is the place to have a show," Harwell said in a phone interview from his Green Valley home. "Everybody wants to be here."
Harwell would love to sleep in his own bed and work on his home renovation projects before heading to a showroom or an amphitheater.
Harwell lives within scooter-driving distance of the Henderson Pavilion. While he describes himself as a homebody now, he's been a rocker from the age of 7.
"I would sprint home from school in my bell bottoms, Pittsburgh Steelers jersey, my fake Converse and feathered hair to lay in front of the TV to watch Elvis movies."
Smash Mouth will play the Silverton entertainment pavilion at 8 p.m. Jan. 3 with new guitarist Leroy Miller, who took over for Greg Camp in 2008.
Camp, the guitarist who started Smash Mouth with Harwell about 15 years ago, left to pursue his solo career.
"Leroy is a rock star," said Harwell. "A show man. He's not afraid of or intimidated by the public."
Harwell recently completed his first solo country album, "L.A. to Nashville." Singles, including "Live Again," based on his struggle with alcoholism, will be out in early 2009. The 41-year-old has been sober for about three years. As for the shift from ska to country, Harwell said fans will get the perspective once they hear it.
Completing the Smash Mouth ensemble are Paul DeLisle on bass, Mitch Marine on drums and Michael Klooster on keyboards. The group gained success by contributing to the soundtrack of the animated film "Shrek."
The Silverton Casino Lodge Entertainment Pavilion is at 3333 Blue Diamond Road. Tickets are $30. Call 914-8557 for information.
Becky Bosshart can be reached at 990-7748 or [email protected].