Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


Setlist: Gin Blossoms @ House of Blues 11/9/08

Our story begins about two weeks ago on a random Thursday night at the Beachland. I'm there for their Halloween extravaganza - Helper T. Cells were awesome as Flaming Lips, The Hot Rails pulled off a mighty fine J. Geils, and The Muttering Retreats surprised all of us with a fun set of Beck favorites. And oh yeah, Joshua Jesty, if you're reading this - you and "Meg" were grand as "The White Stripes."

My accomplices for the evening were Mel from Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Your Boyfriend, and the infamous Cleveland Bachelor. In an evening, we enjoyed a lot of great music, talked about a lot of great music, and hit up other topics like Tony Danza, and our favorite crazy Hollywood chicks (for me, Winona Ryder rules all.)

Somewhere in all of it, we got into talking about the Gin Blossoms (hey, aren't they coming to Cleveland soon?) which jogged my memory that indeed, they were coming to Cleveland, and I wanted to go. That was the extent of the thought for the moment, and we talked some more about the Gins and then moved on to other musical topics.

Flash forward to last week, and I have the bright idea that "hey, I'll get my hands on some Gin Blossoms tickets, and we'll reunite the three rock and roll musketeers for some good 90s rock and roll fun!" I float the idea to CB and Mel, and CB unfortunately had prior commitments, but Mel was onboard, and so it was.

I've seen the Gin Blossoms a number of times since their initial reunion swing in the early 00s - with my favorite show being the first reunion swing through Ohio, playing an outdoor show in Columbus, OH in 2002. The bill was Gin Blossoms, Spin Doctors (also freshly reunited with Eric Schenkman back on guitar,) Seven Mary Three, and Sponge - Four bands, 10 bucks, and all four bands did meet and greets after their set - you can't beat that!

Mel on the other hand, had never seen the Gin Blossoms, so I was thrilled that she decided to come out for the rock. As I'm sure I've mentioned here at some point, this is typically the moment when the band that I am excited for someone else to see will turn around and play a completely bogus and lame show. Luckily, the gods of rock and roll were shining, and the Gin Blossoms arrived at the House of Blues with their game on, ready to play.

The band which frontman Robin Wilson introduced as "your cousins from Tempe, AZ" played a nice mix of tracks that leaned heavily on the band's 2006 release Major Lodge Victory, with a healthy dose of favorites from their 90s smash album New Miserable Experience. Add in a track from the appropriately named Congratulations I'm Sorry (quite possibly one of the worst follow-up albums of all time,) "Til I Hear It From You" from the Empire Records soundtrack, and a couple of random covers, and you have a nice 90 minutes worth of 90s nostalgia on a Sunday night at the House of Blues. A decent crowd was in attendance, and Wilson gave props to Cleveland on the turnout, before making a joke at the band's expense about the turnout saying "I'm impressed with us!"

Since it's been a while since the release of Major Lodge Victory, I was expecting a potential "greatest hits" set, and the amount of MLV tracks in the set surprised me a bit, but I didn't mind. Major Lodge Victory in my opinion is the album that the Gins woulda coulda shoulda made after New Miserable Experience, and the Gins did well peppering the set with some of the strongest material from the album, with only one real stinker ("Super Girl") that I would have left on the sidelines.

And oh yeah, Wilson still sounds great, with a few more tattoos than you might remember, and he has a thing for singing into cell phones, which we got a kick out of watching throughout the set. The band has most of their lineup intact from "back in the day" with guitarists Jesse Valenzuela, Scott Johnson and bass player Bill Leen still in the lineup. Drummer John Richardson is behind the kit (temporarily?) after the recent departure of Scott Kusmirek.

Robin Wilson made note of the many great shows that the Gin Blossoms have played in Ohio over the years, including their first Ohio performance at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus opening for Toad The Wet Sprocket in 1992. For me, I'll recall them being part of one of the greatest double bills ever, when they opened for Del Amitri at Shooter's Live here in Cleveland, in April of 1992. And guess what kids, the Gin Blossoms portion was broadcast on the radio!

For my money, the above show might be one of the best shows the Gin Blossoms ever played in Cleveland. Take a listen, and you might agree with me.

No, seriously - take a listen - that show RULES!

Okay, back to last night's show - the band obviously secretly must know how much I love hearing "Lost Horizons" from New Miserable Experience. Thank you. And that was a nice obscure cover tune pick, throwing out "Now" by The Plimsouls in the encore.

We'll see ya next time.


Learning The Hard Way
Until I Fall Away
Fool For The Taking
Someday Soon
Found Out About You
Long Time Gone
Alison Road
Super Girl
Lost Horizons
Come On Hard
Til I Hear It From You
Hey Jealousy


Rocket Man (Robin acoustic, joined by band mid-way through.)
Follow You Down
Now (Plimsouls cover)

Gin Blossoms at House of Blues Cleveland (video courtesy of sixlittledays)

Relevant Links:

Gin Blossoms official site

Purchase Major Lodge Victory, the latest album from the Gin Blossoms

  • BloggingJason

    Nice post. “Hey Jealousy” always gets cranked when I catch it on the radio….

    And +1 for Winona Ryder. She can shoplift me anyday.

  • Kelly

    Sounds like a good time :)

    As for me, I always loved Until I Fall Away*

  • Burgo

    I officially hate you.

    Harsh, I know… but the Gin Blossoms? Man. I’d kill…

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  • jonas

    saw them twice in 2008 they still rock

  • jonas

    saw them twice in 2008 they still rock