Some bands from the 1990s have come and gone while others have staying power.  The Gin Blossoms proved that they are here to stay while performing a great mix of classic tunes and new songs at the Kent Stage last Wednesday.

After opening the show with a spot on version of “Follow You Down” lead singer Robin Wilson invited everyone down to the front of the stage to sing and dance along because “this is how we like to do it.”  About seventy patrons made their way down and formed a makeshift pit while the other five hundred or so fans watched from their seats.

Wilson introduced the band: Bill Leen on bass, guitarist Jesse Valenzuela, guitarist Scotty Johnson and drummer Scott Hessel after “29” was played.  Valenzuela noted that it was Wilson’s birthday and the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to him.  He responded by saying that “there is no place I would rather be than playing a rock and roll show with my band!”

The 52 year old’s voice is in fine shape and the band sounds just like they did when New Miserable Experience came out 25 years ago.  The acoustics of the venue was not lost on Wilson as he quipped “it sounds pretty good in here and we’re playing fucking great!” after playing “Until I Fall Away.”

The band is putting the finishing touches on a new CD that is scheduled to be released later this year.  They played three songs from the new record including “Angels Fly” and “Don’t Let It Break My Heart” which sounded excellent.

A trio of hits closed out the set as “Found Out About You,” “‘Til I Hear From You” and “Hey Jealousy” were played in succession.

Wilson came back on stage for the encore and played an acoustic version of Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey” with the rest of the band joining him for the second half of the song.  “Hands are Tied” and Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” ended the show.

The Gin Blossoms will be touring this fall in celebration of the 25th anniversary of New Miserable Experience and will be playing the album in its entirety.  

Let’s hope a stop in northeast Ohio is on their itinerary.