One band’s “New Miserable Experience” is still a fan favorite.
Alt-rock heavyweights Gin Blossoms will perform that breakout record in its entirety on Sunday at the Varsity Theatre. Doors open at 6 p.m. The show starts at 6:30 p.m. with performances from local groups Burnhouse and Sofa Kings.
Released in 1992, “New Miserable Experience” launched Gin Blossoms into stardom with hits such as “Hey Jealousy” and “Found Out About You.” The band will perform the album in honor of its 25th anniversary. Gin Blossoms guitarist Scott Johnson cautioned fans to get to the gig early.
“We (play the album) at the very beginning of the set,” Johnson said. “If you want to hear ‘Hey Jealousy,’ don’t be late.”
This weekend’s concert is hosted by Red, Rock & Blue, a Baton Rouge organization that throws sports and music-themed fundraising events to benefit Louisiana military charities.
As it turns out, Gin Blossoms has a history of supporting the U.S. armed forces. In 2010, the band played a handful of gigs for soldiers in Iraq.
“We did Fallujah, and then we played Baghdad,” Johnson said. “We actually stayed in one of Saddam (Hussein’s) palaces in Baghdad with the gold toilet and the whole thing.”
“New Miserable Experience” and the band’s 1996 album “Congratulations I’m Sorry” helped define the sound of ’90s radio with a fusion of rock and pop music, known today as jangle-pop. The latter album featured the hit single “Follow You Down,” which shot up singles charts in 1996. Both records sold in the millions. “New Miserable Experience” has sold 5 million copies to date.
However, those sweet pop-rock sounds would cease for a little while. The band broke up in 1997 as members went on to form side projects. By 2001 though, Gin Blossoms returned to the stage.
In 2006, the band released its fourth studio album, “Major Lodge Victory,” which charted in the Billboard 200 album sales chart. It was the first time the band had appeared on the chart in a decade. The band’s 2010 album, “No Chocolate Cake,” also entered the Billboard 200 album chart in its first week.
On Sunday, fans can expect a polished performance from seasoned musicians who have toured extensively since reassembling. In the past year, the “25 New Miserable Years Tour” has taken the group to more than 100 cities.
“People who love that record are just freaking out,” Johnson said. “They’re having a great time.”
with Burnhouse and Sofa Kings
Presented by Red, Rock & Blue
WHEN: Sunday. Doors open at 6 p.m. Show starts at 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Varsity Theatre, 3353 Highland Road, Baton Rouge
COST: $25 in advance at ticketweb.com, $30 the day of the show. VIP tickets are also available for $95 and include balcony access, open bar and food from Ruffino's.