The Gin Blossoms rose to fame in the 1990s, during a time when the mix of hair bands and grunge music seemed to rule radio. The platinum-selling Jangle-pop band found mainstream success in 1992 with the release of its first major label album, “New Miserable Experience,” and the first single released from that album, “Hey Jealousy.”
Nearly three decades later, the Grammy-nominated band continues to rock shows and will headline this year’s AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival on Saturday.
“As thrilling as it ever was, it’s so satisfying to have survived with our credibility intact and with a fan base where we can go to any city in America and sell concert tickets, and people can sing along to the shows,” said Robin Wilson, the band’s lead vocalist. “It’s incredibly rewarding.
“But that being said, there’s kind of nothing like when you first get started and you first break out of your hometown. There’s a moment when you’re on the radio for the first time, and you got your first hit song, and then you show up in a new town – you’re on the radio, you’re on MTV, but they’ve never seen you live. There’s an electricity and excitement that only happens once.”
The Gin Blossoms had a steady home on the charts for almost three years with singles such as “Hey Jealousy,” “Allison Road,” Until I Fall Away,” “Mrs. Rita” and “Found Out About You.” Wilson said he didn’t truly appreciate the band’s success until years later.
“I couldn’t go on MTV without seeing us, but it’s only with the perspective of time that you can judge what level of impact you really had and where you fit in the grand scheme of things,” he said. “I think we did pretty well. I realize now that we were bigger at the time than I realized then.”
Wilson, who also plays guitar, percussion and the harmonica, said the band’s Flood City Music Festival performance will be filled with many of the songs people have loved over the years.
“They are going to get all of the hits, for sure,” Wilson said, “plus some our personal favorites and a bunch of the new material, too. And we’ll probably toss in one, maybe two, cover songs.”
The Gin Blossoms are scheduled to take the music festival’s main stage from 9:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Peoples Natural Gas Park.
“This is what I’ve wanted to do since I was a little kid,” Wilson said. “I was
8 years old the first time I heard Queen, and I realized then that I wanted to be a rock singer. So I’m doing exactly what I dreamed about doing as a child, and I’m a competent songwriter who has written songs that have been big hits and people all over the country sing back to me every night.
“There’s really nothing more rewarding than that.”