I’m a Gin Blossoms fan. Unapologetically. Some people might write them off as a successful 90’s band that had a couple hits and nothing more. I would argue that they were a GREAT 90’s band and continue to kick out the jams as well as they did 20 years ago. I’m not alone in that thinking, as I was shocked to find an audience at one of the bigger Summerfest stages packed to the gills with more than 30 minutes til show time.
Robin Wilson, the lead singer of Gin Blossoms, said something that shocked me a little bit-they’ve played Summerfest 8 out of the last 9 years. That seems crazy, but proves that they continue to be a draw even at a festival with as much to offer as Milwaukee’s sprawling 11-day behemoth. On this particular night they were bringing in people despite going up against more current acts like Phantogram and The Weeknd.
The band just put out a new album called Mixed Reality a couple weeks ago. They played a couple from that, including “Angels Fly,” “Break,” and the latest single “Mega Pawn King,” which closed the set. Other than those the show was a fun journey through the hits that made them popular and a couple deep cuts. I’d never even heard “Long Time Gone” before, but they sandwiched it in between a couple very well known tunes to start the show and I had to look it up when I got home.
Nearly half the set was comprised of classics off the band’s major debut New Miserable Experience. The highlight of the evening was the series of hits played back to back late in the set: “Found Out About You,” “Hey Jealousy,” “Til I Hear It From You,” and “Follow You Down.” When you play them all in a row it seems nuts that they had all those hits in such a short span and that anyone might consider them a one-hit wonder…they had WAY more than one hit, and they’re still getting it done today!