Gin Blossoms Entertain Thousands at Annual Taste of Fort Collins Festival (review/recap)

This past weekend, the event that I like to refer to as the ‘Kick off to Summer’ for the northern Colorado area took place with the annual Taste of Fort Collins. There was a number of concerts that I had wanted to make it to, but most of my time was spent officiating a wedding, however I was able to squeeze this one in and it did not disappoint.

The Taste of Fort Collins, if nothing else, is always at least memorable. And though this year was not plagued with a #breadgate or an Earth, Wind and Fire incited riot, the event I’m sure for many will still go down as fun time had listening to great music and enjoying what the great city of foco had to offer.

This years event, in my opinion, was a return to form for the festival, as far as headlining talent goes. The Lineup was pretty weak last year, and I think we all remember what happened the year before that. Nonetheless, this years headlining talent roster boasted The Plain White T’s, St.Lucia, Waterloo Revival and the Gin Blossoms.

Like I stated earlier, I was pretty crunched for time this past weekend, so as much as I would have loved to see all the other acts, I only had time for one. That being said, I went down specifically for the Gin Blossoms. I didn’t have time to check out any of the local talent, of which this event is based around, but from what I hear there were pretty solid performances all the way around.

The Gin Blossoms have played the event several times in the past, however this was my first time seeing them. I’ve always been a fan of their mellow, chill style of music and the performance they gave was pretty on par. The whole thing was pretty laid back and straight forward, but I did feel like the performance they gave was less than what they might do at an actual Gin Blossoms concert, but for this kind of festival environment, it didn’t bother me to bad. Their stage set had nothing special and they just seemed like for the most part they were just going through the motions, playing their music but not really putting on a show, kind of lacked enthusiasm.

They did a couple of things different from some of the other shows I’ve been to, such as introducing the band at the beginning of the set, instead of towards the end, and ending the show on cover songs as opposed to saving their greatest hits for last, but none of these things really took away from the performance that much for me. One thing they kept doing however, I’ve seen at other shows too and it always bothers me, is never playing straight through song to song. In between almost every song there was pause, whether to say something to the crowd, or just to take a few second breather, whatever the case, this always takes me out the show, just a little bit.

Their finale, however, kind of made up for all the things that I maybe didn’t enjoy so much during the show. Like stated earlier, they had already played all their big radio hits before the end of the show, so I actually wasn’t even sure that they were going to have an encore, because artists tend to leave the best for last so to speak. And when they left the stage, it was more than the usual amount of time before they returned, so that also had me thinking maybe they weren’t coming back out.

Eventually though they did, and they really ended on a high note. Their encore was a three song set that started with a cover of Van Morrison’s ‘Tupelo Honey’, played about half way through acoustically by just the lead singer, who was then joined by the rest of the band to finish up the track. Then they played their own song ‘Hands Are Tied’, and went out on a rockin cover of Johnny Cash’s ‘Folsom Prison Blues’.

All in all, they put on a good performance for the environment that they were in, and though their enthusiasm I felt was lacking, the onstage chemistry was there and the crowd interaction was great, with the crowd singing and clapping along to the majority of the songs. Definitely worth the trip and will be marking this one down as another successful and entertaining show at The Taste of Fort Collins!-Johnny K

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