Smash Mouth singer slurs words, curses fans at ‘chaotic’ live show

A man in a white T-shirt singing into a microphone.
Smash Mouth’s Steve Harwell performing in 2017.
(Harmony Gerber / Getty Images)

The pop-rock band Smash Mouth performed a volatile live show in upstate New York over the weekend, during which singer Steve Harwell slurred his words, threatened the audience and appeared to give a Nazi salute to the crowd.

Smash Mouth, known for hits like 1999’s “All Star” and its cover of the Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” from 2001’s “Shrek” soundtrack, had come under fire last year for performing at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, an event widely criticized as a COVID-19 superspreader event.

But Saturday’s show at a Bethel, N.Y., beer festival known as The Big Sip was an even wilder spectacle, according to a video shared widely on social media.

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In excerpts from the video, the band struggled to perform over a feedback-pierced PA system. Harwell, 54, was seen dropping a drink and swaying onstage, punctuating his slurred singing with inscrutable comments. “I’ll f— kill your whole family, I swear to God,” he told one fan in the audience. To another, he said (in even more profane language) that he would never leave the house if he were more gifted at masturbation.

But his apparent Nazi salute, made from the stage, drew the most ire from the crowd and social media. The TikTok user who shared the original clip described it as “the most chaotic show I’ve ever seen in my entire life.”

Harwell had been on hiatus from the band earlier this month due to heart problems and was replaced by a friend of the band whom they never identified.

Representatives for the group did not immediately return requests for comment about the Bethel performance or about Harwell’s health.