One of the most underrated bands of the early 1990s, Gin Blossoms, performed at Green Valley Ranch Amphitheater here in Las Vegas at the end of April to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their first major label album New Miserable Experience.
It was a cool and breezy night, which was a relief from our usual heat spike that we get at the end of April. We sat on the grass facing the stage as we waited for the band with fans of all ages. As the sun set, the band hit the stage.
They kicked off the show with "Follow You Down" off of Congratulations I'm Sorry, and the crowd sang along so loudly that vocalist Robin Wilson could have put the microphone down and let us take over completely.
Fans of the band know the tragic history that mainly swirls around original guitarist Doug Hopkins, who wrote a good chunk of the band's first album and unfortunately passed shortly after the album's release.
The only other classic member missing was drummer Phillip Rhodes, but Scott Hessell, who has been with the band for the past decade definitely held it down.
After performing a couple more songs off of Congratulations I'm Sorry and 2006's Major Lodge Victory, they launched into New Miserable Experience. It was absolutely incredible to hear the album in order from start to finish. I've seen a lot of bands to anniversary shows and mix it up, but there's something about seeing it live in the order it was meant to be in that gives it a whole new feeling.
Gin Blossoms acknowledges their history and paid many tributes to Hopkins throughout the show, telling stories behind the songs and the memories that went along with them, as well as acknowledging original vocalist (current guitarist) Jesse Valenzuela, lead guitarist Scott Johnson, and bassist Bill Leen.
All in all, it was an incredible experience, with only minor sound issues here and there. Wilson mentioned the band will be touring again this summer with Toad the Wet Sprocket and Barenaked Ladies, and I am very hopeful for it to come back around this way, because I will gladly be back in the crowd singing along.
Follow You Down
Learning the Hard Way
As Long As it Matters
Until I Fall Away
Hold Me Down
Hands Are Tied
Found Out About You
Pieces of the Night
Til I Hear It From You
Encore: A Million Miles Away (Plimsouls Cover)
Photo Credit: Edison Graff @StardustFallout - Used with Permission