Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: The Gin Blossoms

For this week’s installment of Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog, Jennifer shoots a band who might send you on a nostalgia trip.

One of the upsides of getting old is when the bands that were dear to your teenage heart put out new records and tour on them, you are finally able to see them play live.

For example: The Gin Blossoms and Soul Asylum, who were featured heavily on my high school and college mix-tapes, are both working on new music AND touring together this summer. They’re stopping through New Jersey in July, and I am SO EXCITED.

I have seen both bands before, though separately, and only relatively recently: Soul Asylum in 2008, when they opened for Everclear (!) at Webster Hall (also on the bill: Cracker, though I missed them due to class), and the Gin Blossoms just this past January, at the Outpost in the ‘Burbs, in Montclair, New Jersey. I didn’t take any pictures at the Webster Hall show, but I did get a few in Montclair:

Jesse Valenzuela, Robin Wilson, and Bill Leen

The show was in a church and we were sitting in the pews, so I was a lot further from the stage than I usually am when I’m taking pictures. It was also really cold that night, even inside, which is why they’re all bundled up. Nonetheless, Robin Wilson’s voice was as sweet and clear as ever, and he was rocking that tambourine. They were all rocking, actually; Bill Leen even broke a string!

Bill Leen and Scott Johnson

The whole “sitting in pews” thing was kind of awkward and strange, actually, not least because it made it difficult to get up and dance without feeling like I was being rude and blocking someone’s view. But really that didn’t matter. I was just happy to be able to be there to hear a room full of people glide through the chorus of Mrs. Rita.

And, too, Jon Bon Jovi once commented that Living on a Prayer means a lot more when you’ve actually done it; the same can be said for Found Out About You and Allison Road. They did play some of their newer stuff, too, which I quite liked. I’m looking forward to hearing more of it this summer.

Bill Leen

Afterwards I walked back out into the frigid night and made my way to the train station, picking my way carefully through shoals of college students. At least one of the girls was literally wearing nothing but a t-shirt, pantyhouse, boots, and a smile. When I stopped to inquire about the occasion, it emerged there was a Jersey Shore full-cast appearance going on in a nearby club, which, I discovered later, ended in a near-riot. And then I passed by this, located outside a bakery, which has nothing to with music at all, but I am nonetheless sharing because it was just so awesome:


Gin Blossoms’ MySpace
Gin Blossoms’ webpage
Gin Blossoms on Twitter

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