Grunge’s Gin Blossoms Presents 1992’s ‘New Miserable Experience’ 30th Anniversary Tour at The Cameo on February 22 | Entertainment

BY TOM NETHERLANDS | SPECIAL AT HERALD MAIL

American rock radio and MTV hummed the melodic strains of alternative rock in the early 1990s.

Grunge rock gave the world the Pearl Jam and Seattle Nirvana. Tempe, Arizona gave birth to Gin Blossoms.

Led by vocalist Robin Wilson, the Gin Blossoms are celebrating 30 years of their breakthrough album, ‘New Miserable Experience’, throughout 2022. The tour brings them to Bristol on Tuesday February 22 at the Cameo Theater on the state side of Virginia. Street.

“It’s been 33 years since we formed the band,” Wilson said by phone from Tempe, Arizona. “At first I wanted to be a local rock star.”

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Quickly, the Gin Blossoms built a strong following throughout the greater Phoenix area. Their wants simple, sound simple.

“I dreamed of being in a local rock band,” Wilson said. “I grew up and now I’m a member of the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame.”

Formed in the late 1980s, the Gin Blossoms released their debut album, “Dusted”, in 1989. An independent release, the album featured the quintet’s breakthrough single, “Hey Jealousy”.

Written by the band’s guitarist, the late Doug Hopkins, the song led to their signing with major label A&M Records. Re-recorded and included on “New Miserable Experience”, “Hey Jealousy” brought the band to a national audience.

“I remember coming back from the tour [in 1993]”, Wilson said. “I would sit with my roommate, play Sega Genesis and watch MTV. I looked up, and there we were, on MTV.

Within weeks, “Hey Jealousy” zoomed into the public consciousness. Not only did he resonate among the alternative rock stables, but the propulsive rocker gravitated to Billboard’s Pop Top 40 and achieved worldwide hit status.

Even today, Gin Blossoms’ “Hey Jealousy” can be heard in supermarkets and Walmarts across the country.

“It was so weird and so awesome to be part of the great rock ‘n’ roll history,” Wilson said. “The sound that we established…we were heavily influenced by the replacements. REM has been a touchstone for us. We were on the way. We stand on the shoulders of giants.

Three more hit singles, including a resounding “Found Out About You”, followed “Hey Jealousy” throughout 1994. Two years and several tours with bands such as The Spin Doctors later, the Gin Blossoms released a another million-selling album, “Congratulations I’m Sorry.”

Once again hits spewed out in the sung style of the Gin Blossoms. Alas…

“Personally, we were in turmoil,” Wilson said. “When we were on the road in 1996 with The Goo Goo Dolls and Neil Young, there was a lot of commotion. Opening for Bryan Adams in football stadiums, that was glorious. Being on David Letterman, that was glorious But we were pulling in different directions. Show biz was messing us up.

In early 1997, the Gin Blossoms broke up. Essentially, 1996 was like a nonstop roller coaster ride. Sometimes too wild and divisive, sometimes incredibly adventurous and unpredictable.

For example, the Gin Blossoms appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” in 1996 with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS. They performed KISS’ “Christine Sixteen,” which Wilson sang lead on while standing between the two rock giants during the appearance.

“I remember thinking, ‘Jesus Christ, these guys are so great,'” Wilson said. “It was a dream come true for me. When I was in sixth grade, I dreamed of performing with KISS. My first gig was opening for Cheap Trick for KISS.

The Gin Blossoms banded together in 2002. A handful of albums, including 2018’s “Mixed Reality,” build on their signature tunes laden with danceable melodies and sympathetic lyrics.

But none match the impact and significance of 1992’s ‘New Miserable Experience’. To celebrate the album’s 30th anniversary, the Gin Blossoms will play it in its entirety on tour this year and in Bristol.

“They’re going to see a group of veterans playing with confidence and enthusiasm,” Wilson said. “We’ll start with a few songs and then go into the album. It’s a pretty good rock show.

Tom Netherland is a freelance writer. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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