Arizona’s Gin Blossoms will perform at the Wellmont Theater on the Feb. 25, 2017.
For a band with a turbulent past, Tempe, Ariz.’s Gin Blossoms make a beautiful sound. Robin Wilson, the front man during their reunion after hiatus in 2002, said, “We make a noise together that we can’t make otherwise. We respect and appreciate that we need each other to create that sound. This time we hope to avoid being swallowed by the chaos.”
That chaos has threatened Gin Blossoms on several occasions. After their formation in 1987, the rock group became well known around their native Tempe, Ariz. They were part of a southwestern rock movement that centered around Tempe in the early 90s. Many describe Gin Blossom’s sound as the “southwestern sound” or the “Mill Avenue sound,” much like other bands from the area such as The Sidewinders or Dead Hot Workshop.
Gin Blossoms has a sound that works so seamlessly that after their first full-length album, New Miserable Experience, the rock group shot to success with hit songs such as “Found Out About You” and “Hey Jealousy.” Unfortunately, the excitement of this success was overshadowed by the aforementioned chaos the band tries to avoid. Founder and former lead guitarist and songwriter Doug Hopkins started to drink heavily during the production of the album, which forced their record company, A&M, to have the band drop him. On Dec. 3, 1993, Doug Hopkins committed suicide.
“I think the turmoil they’ve faced really speaks volumes about the character of the band,” said David Bush, a longtime fan of Gin Blossoms and student at Rutgers University. “Ever since I heard ‘Found Out About You,’ I’ve loved them, and even after learning the darkness that has engulfed them at times, I think the fact that they’re still playing and still rocking is a testament to the goodness that rock and roll can give you.”
According to their website www.ginblossoms.net, the band has toured in over 25 countries, including a five city tour of Iraq for American troops. That’s a long way from Tempe, Ariz.
When the band comes to play in Montclair on Feb. 25, rock fans young and old will be on high alert. Gin Blossoms carry a unique sound that entices many to become fans, explaining their very large fan base. For information about tickets and times, see www.wellmontheater.com for information on the venue and show. Tickets are available online or at the theater. The Wellmont Theater is located at 5 Seymour St. in Montclair, N.J.