The Blossoms Haven't Missed a Beat
F. Nava | Texas USA | 05/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Gin Blossoms are back with their first official live CD!
While the "Just South of Nowhere" DVD showcases the Blossoms visually from 1993 (and pre-"Congratulations I'm Sorry"), this release shows what they sound like today. It was recorded on July 18, 2008 in North Lawrence, Ohio and has older hits along with material from their reunion CD, "Major Lodge Victory."
The audio to the band is considerably higher than the audience, making the band sound clearer. I'm not sure if this is an edited concert, as their live show is considerably longer with more songs. A few of the audience cheers between songs have fades, indicating that either the order of songs was rearranged or there are in fact edited songs from the live set.
The hardest issue of coming up with a live set with a band like the Gin Blossoms is that you have to balance the older hits (and there are many) with the newer releases. Sometimes some songs just have to be omitted to make room.
PROS - Great sound, great showmanship, but more importantly, it brings the Gin Blossoms back to the forefront. This live CD has most of their hits...the only outstanding mandatory single is "As Long As It Matters." But the other inclusions (including the album track "Lost Horizons") make up for this considering the room factor.
CONS - The only con for this release pertains to the song choices from "Major Lodge Victory." While it has some great song choices, I think other songs like "Heart Shaped Locket," "Come on Hard," "The End of the World," and "Curious Thing" would have represented the album better. But you can always get the album to hear for yourself, so this isn't that big a deal.
So all in all, this is a great live CD. It's a shame that the Gin Blossoms haven't been given the respect and attention they deserve, but this live release shows that the Blossoms are carrying on...and sound as great as ever. Check out their live show if you ever get the chance!
UPDATE: I GOT TO SEE THE GIN BLOSSOMS IN ALBUQUERQUE WHEN THEY TOURED IN 2009. I MET THEM AND WAS INVITED TO HANG OUT WITH THEM AT THEIR HOTEL OVER DRINKS. WE TALKED ABOUT MUSIC AND LIFE...WHAT CAN I SAY...THE GIN BLOSSOMS ARE SOME OF THE NICEST GUYS OUT THERE. YOU WOULD NEVER EVEN KNOW THEY WERE FAMOUS AND THEY ARE VERY DOWN TO EARTH. THESE GUYS ARE FIVE OF THE NICEST, MOST GENEROUS GUYS IN THE MUSIC BIZ TODAY.
GOOD LUCK IN THE FUTURE BLOSSOMS!"
Blame The Tool, Not The Carpenter
S. Carlsen | 02/01/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I L-U-V the Gin Blossoms, have everything they ever recorded that I can get my hands on, and I am sad to report that this CD was not up to expectations.
I've seen 'em live more than once - even heard the opening comment about "kickin' ass and chewing gum, and we're all out of gum" before from them (on Major Lodge Victory tour)and know what they can do.
Jesse and Scott and both great guitarists, Robin is one of my top fave vocalists, and Bill is super as well (I don't know much about Scott, the drummer dude) BUT BUT BUT - I don't know if it is the production/recording/my stereo/whatever, but this thing sounds so lifeless, I just don't want to listen to it over and over and over like I might at least a couple of the Gin Blossoms records.
That's enough. You make up your own mind, but this absolute big time fan found it not so hot."