Together again, alt-pop faves Gin Blossoms head for Bates

Together again after a five-year hiatus, Arizona alternative-pop favorites the Gin Blossoms are heading to Bates College for a concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in the Clifton Daggett Gray Athletic Building (“Gray Cage”), 130 Central Avenue.

Admission to this concert sponsored by the Bates College Chase Hall Committee is $15 ($10 for students). Tickets are available at Bull Moose Music in Lewiston.

The Gin Blossoms emerged from a burgeoning club scene in Tempe, Ariz., in 1987. A textbook example of the alternative-scene route to success, they were named Phoenix’s best rock band by readers of the Phoenix New Times, played the prestigious South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, in March 1989, and later that year were named the nation’s best unsigned band by College Music Journal.

The group hit the mainstream in 1993 with the hit “Hey Jealousy.” Tragically, that success took place without the man who wrote that song, Blossoms’ co-founder Doug Hopkins. He left the group that year and in December 1993 committed suicide.

The Gin Blossoms survived the loss of their chief songwriter with little loss of popularity, only to succumb to creative differences in 1997. The current reunion grew out of a series of jam sessions during summer and fall 2001.

The current band includes four of the five Blossoms aboard during the band’s glory days: singer Robin Wilson, guitarists Jesse Valenzuela and Scott Johnson, and bassist Bill Leen. Gary Smith has replaced Phillip Rhodes on drums.

“All I can say for sure is it’s more possible for us to work together full time this coming year than it has been for the last five years,” Wilson told the Phoenix New Times last December. “The band’s attitude, our feelings about the whole thing, are more on track now.”

In conjunction with the tour, Universal Music Group is issuing a 10th-anniversary collector’s edition of the band’s breakthrough album, New Miserable Experience, with a bonus disc of B-sides and rarities. A DVD compilation of their videos is also planned.

“Wilson is proud to be getting back with his former bandmates to reclaim the catalogue of jangly pop gems he now regards with renewed respect,” the New Times reported. ” ‘When we started rehearsing again, I realized it was pretty cool,’ he says. ‘There’s a lot of great material to play. And there’s a lot of songs that people know the words to. It’s gonna be pretty easy for a lot of people to sing along to the entire set.’ ”

For more information, call Bates College at 207-786-6255 or Bull Moose Music at 207-784-6463.

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