Among those who interview prospective new employees there is a new trendy question: “So, what’s your 90s jam?” Being in high school and college firmly in the 1980s, I had a hard time coming up with a good answer until I realized “Hey Jealousy” came out in 1992. I remember really digging the Gin Blossoms in the 1990s and thinking their first two albums were pretty brilliant power pop. So, it was a nice surprise to learn they would be headlining the Taste of Champaign-Urbana festival in West Side Park.
There are six songs everyone sorta kinda knows that the Gin Blossoms play: Found Out About You, Until I Fall Away, Allison Road, Til I Hear it From You, Follow You Down, and Hey Jealousy. These six are really quite good. The band could have played these six songs twice and Hey Jealousy three times and the crowd would’ve been ecstatic. Of course, that’s not what they did.
Vocalist Robin Wilson sounded great with every song he sang and the band was incredibly tight. Unfortunately, I really wanted Wilson to work the crowd better, not complain about his mic stand, not start a song with “Hey let’s play what’s next on this sheet,” and not start an obscure cover with “Deal with it.”
There was a ton of people out there excited to hear and see them. Everyone deserved better.
Look, it was a free show so I don’t have much to complain about. Still, it costs $40K or so to book a band like the Gin Blossoms I want a professional show. It came across like a band who really didn’t want to be there and that was disappointing.
Anyway, here’s a taste of the show. One of the good parts in my eyes.