The Gin Blossoms performance has been rescheduled for TBD. You may to hold on to your tickets for the new date and your current seat selection(s) will be honored.
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Original Performance Date: April 22, 2020
Rescheduled Performance Date: TBD
Gin Blossoms' blockbuster 1992 album New Miserable Experience spawned four Top 40 hit singles, and established the Arizona quintet as one of the top rock groups of that decade. More than 25 years have passed since the release of New Mis, and now Gin Blossoms are back with their best set of songs in years. Produced by Don Dixon and engineered by Mitch Easter, Mixed Reality (set for release June 15) demonstrates that the timeless appeal of Gin Blossoms' music has endured.
In 1989 Gin Blossoms released its debut album, Dusted, on a small Tucson-based independent label. The album included two Doug Hopkins-penned songs, “Found Out About You” and “Hey Jealousy.” In 1990 the group signed a contract with A&M Records. Before recording a full-length, the band cut a five-song EP for the label; Up and Crumbling featured songs that had been in the group's set for some time, and included Robin Wilson's “Allison Road.”
Ten months later, Gin Blossoms' major-label debut album, New Miserable Experience was released. Initial response to the album was muted, despite the strong material. For a while, it looked as if New Miserable Experience would be a commercial flop. But nearly a year after the album's release, the third single—a new recording of “Hey Jealousy”—started receiving airplay. Eventually NME would produce six singles and would go on to earn 4x Platinum status (more than four million units sold).
By the time of New Miserable Experience's commercial breakthrough, original guitarist Doug Hopkins was gone from the group; his problems with alcohol had become so serious that the band had little choice but to dismiss him. Guitarist Scotty Johnson would replace him. “We were terrified,” recalls Wilson. “Could we do it without Doug?”
Having four songwriters would be part of what kept Gin Blossoms afloat. While three and half years would pass before a follow-up to NME appeared, Congratulations I'm Sorry showed that Gin Blossoms had lost none of its collective ability to turn out finely-wrought, catchy and lyrically compelling songs, including the hit, “Follow You Down.”
Congratulations would go Platinum, reaching #10 on the U.S. album charts and “Follow You Down” made the Top 10. The song, “Till I Hear it From You” was a hit as well; and a third single from the album, “As Long as it Matters,” earned a GRAMMY nomination.
In 1997, weary from nearly nonstop touring, Gin Blossoms went on extended hiatus. “We weren't all getting along at the time,” Wilson admits. He, Valenzuela, Johnson, Leen and Rhodes each pursued outside projects. By 2001 the group had reunited; the older and wiser Gin Blossoms released Major Lodge Victory in 2006, and No Chocolate Cake landed on shelves in 2010. “We came back together,” Wilson says, “and became stronger than ever.”
By 2012, the band's lineup included drummer Scott Hessell. In 2017, Gin Blossoms decided to take a look back, celebrating the 25-year anniversary of the landmark New Miserable Experience. Time has been very kind to the band's back catalog; unlike many other records of its era, NME managed the unique feat of capturing the zeitgeist of the early 1990s while remaining timeless.
Audiences packed venues on the NME anniversary tour, often remarking that the show felt and sounded like a greatest-hits collection. Which, in a sense, was completely accurate. Also in 2017, Gin Blossoms were inducted into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame. That honor is another sign that the group's music has earned classic status. “We're descendants of the Byrds, the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and Cheap Trick,” says Wilson. “All of that is classic rock, and that’s who we are, too.”
Meanwhile, Gin Blossoms began work on their first new album in almost eight years. Mixed Reality shares the same timeless feel as New Miserable Experience; it's packed with 15 songs, with Wilson, Leen, Johnson and Valenzuela all contributing material. And once again, the mix of songwriters results in something that has that unmistakable Gin Blossoms sound.
“We’re at the point now where we play better, we communicate better, we get along more,” says Wilson. “We’re more grateful. It’s a very full-circle thing for us to be releasing Mixed Reality.” Built around the proven strategy of using the band's deep songwriting bench, and packed with memorable songs that connect with listeners while transcending a specific time period, Mixed Reality may turn out to be as timeless as Gin Blossoms' major label debut.
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