Posts Tagged ‘Gin Blossoms’

In the last chapter of the Atlantic City Diaries, I was feeling a sense of burn-out with the city.  While I was financially successful, I suffered from multiple dramatic episodes, including an avian-related food disaster, a near fight with a complete asshole, and the potential of having to fill out a missing persons report for this website’s editor.  However, this trip was booked in advance and completely comped thanks to my friend OB, star of Chapter 2. Earlier this month (between the events recounted in Chapters 2 and 3), OB went down to stay at the Revel, for the sole purpose of building up his comp points.  And he ended up building a small empire.  While I don’t want to go into specifics, he ended up with enough winnings that he was assigned his own “experience manager.”  So this upcoming weekend was not only comped in one of the Revel’s nicest suites, but all room service and dinner would also be taken care of.  Additionally, we also had tickets to see Summerland – a concert featuring a who’s who of pop-rock 90’s bands.  With a bill featuring Marcy Playground, Sugar Ray, Everclear, Gin Blossoms, and Lit, I’m sure Fastball was feeling extremely left out.  To top things off, OB used his winnings to escort our group (including my girlfriend and Finn from Chapter 2) down from New York in a stretch limo.

Friday

3:30PM – My main experience with limos has been funeral-related, so this jovial, booze-filled ride was completely new and exciting for me.  It will be tough to go back to the Greyhound bus after this.  However, the only downside of drinking in a limo for three hours – you really have to go to the bathroom.  Each limo stop costs extra money, so you’ll be testing your bladder’s fortitude as you try not to break the seal.  I, unfortunately, broke the seal at our one rest stop – which was still about an hour and a half away from Atlantic City.  By the time we reached the Atlantic City Expressway, I was trying to remember anything at all from Phil Jackson’s Sacred Hoops – I needed to use the Zen Master’s advice to dissociate from my need to pee.  By the time we pulled up to the Revel, I pushed over my girlfriend and friends in a mad dash to the bathroom, much like George Costanza knocking over the children and old lady to get out of a fire at a children’s party.

7:00 – We checked into our room, and had some solid room service.  I ordered a burger, which, while nothing spectacular, sated me.  We then headed to the concert.  The concert opened at 7PM, and we arrived at 7:45, thinking that would be closer to the start time.  However, by the time we arrived, the lead singer for Everclear (who was hosting the event) was saying “Give it up for Marcy Playground!”  Well, one band down, four to go.  It made me wonder how long the sets would be – did Marcy Playground just go out, play “Sex & Candy,” and leave?  Next up was Lit.  Now, aside from “My Own Worst Enemy,” I was extremely unfamiliar with their music.  The set was…fine, I assume.  It gave me a feeling for how the rest of the night would go – they played for about 45 minutes, had a couple of the other bands’ members guest with them for a song or two, I would recognize a song that I forgot they played (in this case, “Miserable”), they would end with their biggest hit (the aforementioned “My Own Worst Enemy”), and the crowd mildly rocked around.

8:30 – After Lit’s set, I took time to look around the room.  It was a pretty light crowd, especially when compared to the Orion Music Festival.  The pit area (where we were) was maybe only two-thirds full, and it looked like many people there were past their best rocking days.  The interlude was very quick – in about 10 minutes after Lit finished, the Gin Blossoms started playing.  I have to give kudos to the stage crew – they kept it moving very quickly.  I’m a bigger fan of the Gin Blossoms, and they didn’t disappoint – they played every hit they had (of course ending with “Hey Jealousy”).  Two interesting notes about their set.  First, the lead singer really isn’t that charismatic – his only move was to ask the audience to put their hands up, which he repeated seven or eight times.  And secondly, during this set, two sets of what looked like 21-year-olds were locked in a vicious make-out session – they were, without exaggeration, rolling on the floor and making out for roughly 20 minutes.  It was distracting, but I was so impressed with their stamina in a crowd full of mostly older folks.

9:15 – Sugar Ray followed next, using the Saved By the Bell theme as their intro music.  Their set started with “Someday”, which had just awful harmonies.  Again, this wasn’t a band I was a huge fan of, and, much to my surprise, I found out here that “Someday,” “When It’s Over,” and “Every Morning” are, in fact, three different songs – my memory had blurred them all into one.  I always had a begrudging respect for Mark McGrath, he seems self-aware enough to know that his bread-and-butter is staying committed to the 90’s douche personality he’s developed.  (I remember one joke he had on the Adam Carolla podcast – “Wherever you smell funnel cake, Sugar Ray will be playing there.”)  McGrath spent more time talking to the audience than the last two bands and played a few covers, two signs that it was clearly tough for them to fill a 45 minute set.  The silliest gimmick was a “sing-along” part, where two random audience members were pulled on stage to sing random songs.  One audience member had to sing “Fight For Your Right To Party,” but ended up singing the lyrics after the lyrics had just be said, and got booed mercilessly by the hostile South Jersey crowd.  And, if you don’t know what song they ended with, I don’t know what to tell you.

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