Harrah’s Lake Tahoe brought the Gin Blossoms to the South Shore Room Saturday night. When they came to the stage and grabbed their instruments the house audio was still playing very loudly. Even when lead singer Robin Wilson began to talk to the audience the audio continued and drowned him out. It wasn’t until they started to play that the background music was shut off. I would guess that it was coming from their sound board, but that’s only a guess. Bad move!
It wasn’t difficult for Robin to get the crowd on their feet…
They started off with Lost Horizons from their first album, Dusted, released in 1989. Their audience was very much into the show. It wasn’t difficult for Robin to get large portions of the crowd on their feet, clapping and singing along. Having never held an opinion on the Gin Blossoms one way or another I was a good observer for the night. I did enjoy their show. Especially the songs I recognized. Most notably Found Out About You, Until I Fall Away, Hey Jealousy, and Follow You Down.
I thought there was a little too much down time and unnecessary picking between songs though. It reminded me of a bar band at times. Robin Wilson and lead guitarist Scotty Johnson where the only ones who seemed to be having a good time up there. The other three players did not look happy. Bass player Bill Leen was even yawning while he was being introduced.
There were a few audio challenges too – the kind the average concert goer might not notice. The sound was a bit ‘hot’ (too bright) for the room. There was even an annoying ring going on during one song that just persisted for a long time. My assistant commented that he thought the kick drum was too loud all night. Me being a drummer, I didn’t see a problem with a loud kick drum.
All things considered, they seemed to please their fans…
The musicians played well. I had no problem with that. Both guitar players, Jesse Valenzuela and Scotty Johnson were great. The vocals were in tune and easy to hear. Scott Hessel’s drumming was solid and strong, and Bill Leen played a mean bass. It was just all those other things that kind of took away from the show. Some members of the band looked like they were phoning it in. All things considered, they seemed to please their fans, and that’s a big part of it. For that they get a thumbs up!
Bill Leen – Bass Guitar, backup vocals
Jesse Valenzuela – Lead and Rhythm Guitars, backup vocals
Robin Wilson – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Scott “Scotty” Johnson – Lead and Rhythm Guitars, backup vocals
Scott Hessel – Drums
(As Long As It) Matters
Found Out About You
Until I Fall Away
Dead Or Alive On The 405
Don’t Change For Me
Hands Are Tied
Wave Bye Bye
Til I hear It from You
Folsom Prison Blues
Follow You Down
For a high definition slide show, click here.
by Nick McCabe – Front Row Photo