While rock bands are often caricatured as embracing a care-free lifestyle filled with hard-core partying and no regards to anyone else’s feelings or needs, there are a few groups who surprisingly still release music for the joy of their fans. One such inspiring group who has courageously stepped out from behind the stigma and reputation of many rock bands is Gin Blossoms, who is currently on tour until early next year across America. The group made a heartfelt stop at New York City’s new multi-purpose venue, Stage 48, on November 21 to help benefit those affected by the recent Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
After garnering fans across the stricken Southeast Asian country since the release of their first major label album, ‘New Miserable Experience,’ in 1992, Gin Blossoms emotionally appealed to their fans around the world to donate to the Philippine Red Cross. Robin Wilson, the band’s lead vocalist, earnestly reminded the audience that all proceeds from their Stage 48 performance would be donated to the Red Cross to help those suffering from the natural disaster. The group also encouraged its fans to make a monetary donation to the Red Cross for the victims of the storm.
“Any amount our fans and friends can afford will offer much relief to effected families fast,” Wilson sincerely said on the band’s official website before the show began. Guitarist Jesse Valenzuela added, “We performed in Manila less than a month ago. It’s so tragic that this has affected so many of those wonderful people.”
The encouragement came as the singer exuberantly high-fived a Filipino fan in the front row about mid-way through the show. Wilson happily gave her a tambourine as the band started their 1994 hit, ‘Allison Road,’ also from their acclaimed debut album, so that she could play along.
While the pop rock band, which formed in 1987 in Tempe, Arizona, was passionate about helping their fans in the Philippines, Gin Blossoms also gave a lively and fun hour-and-a-half show at Stage 48, infusing every song with non-stop energy. The group also played such fan favorites as ‘Found Out About You‘ and ‘Somewhere Tonight,’ which Wilson dedicated to the hungry and homeless. The group ended their set with such songs as ‘Til I Hear It From You,’ ‘Until I Fall Away,’ ‘Follow You Down’ and their signature classic, ‘Hey Jealousy.’
Wilson passionately threw in anecdotes throughout the set as he introduced the members of the bands between songs, including Valenzuela, fellow guitarist Scott Johnson and drummer Scott Hessel. the singer casually stated how the group liked to take shots after playing a few songs, to help get into the audience’s excited mood and vibe about their performance. The singer also exuberantly mentioned how the Stage 48 show was their 17th performance in eight days, and while their schedule has been hectic, the group was enjoying their interactions with their dedicated fans.
The initially dark, vibrant ambiance of Stage 48 instantly glowed to life as enchanting strobe lights flashed the members of Gin Blossoms as they played on the stage, and as a glitzy disco ball glistened as it hung from the center of the ceiling. The venue, which is located at 605 West 48th Street in Hell’s Kitchen, utilized the beauty of the old industrial architecture of the building it’s housed in, while incorporating modern elements to create a unique ambiance. Audiences on both levels of Stage 48 were able to catch pleasing, unobstructed views of the Gin Blossoms members. A state of the art speaker system also offered clear sound of the band’s every song, offering an enthralling performance that captured the undivided attention of many fans in attendance.
Gin Blossoms is a talented, dedicated pop rock band that has successfully showcased that by connecting to, embracing and caring about their fans, not all groups give into the stereotype of the hard-partying lifestyle of rock stars. Between donating all their proceeds from the Stage 48 show to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, and staying true to their love and appreciation of pop-rock music, Gin Blossoms not only proved once again their love of their fans, but that they still sound as lively and talented as when they released ‘New Miserable Experience’ 20 years ago.