Presented by Coca-Cola. Del Amitri: Justin Currie, Brian McDermott, Iain Harvie, David Cummings. Gin Blossoms: Robin Wilson, Jesse Valenzuela, Phillip Rhodes, Bill Leen and Scott Johnson.
Reviewed Oct. 12, 1992.
If fun sold records, the Del Amitri/Gin Blossoms show last week at the Roxy would be a platinum-seller.
Scotland’s Del Amitri–there’s no “Del,” the band making up the name–have been together for close to 10 years, and in the latter half of that tenure, the industry and fan buzz Stateside has been reaching deafening proportions thanks to two critically acclaimed A&M releases.
At this sold-out gig, the band showcased material from its current disc, “Everything Changes,” including powerful, memorable tunes like the edgy, commercial mid-tempo “Just Like a Man” and “As Soon as the Tide Comes in.”
The quintet purveys hopeful, earnest, sweet rock-pop veering between Tom Petty and Squeeze. In any form, it’s a pleasing concoction, led engagingly by amusing vocalist/bassist Justin Currie.
Standout songs in a set that was strong, but not outstanding, included the Crowded House/Squeeze-esque “Behind the Fool” and the catchy “Always the Last to Know.”
The Gin Blossoms, from Tempe, Ariz., had the venue packed for their 40-minute opening slot. The band’s driving, honest garage pop was compelling and easygoing. And, as a wonderful, true-to-the-original cover of Alice Cooper’s “No More Mr. Nice Guy” indicated, anything goes.
More ballsy and down-to-earth than Del Amitri, the Gin Blossoms’ secret weapon is the strong vocals of Robin Wilson, who wins kudos on “Hands Are Tied” and “Hey Jealousy,” the band’s infectious first single off its latest, “New Miserable Experience,” which, thankfully, this show wasn’t.