Liquid Sol Music Festival - Sportsman's Park - 3/15/14

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As day slipped into night at Liquid Sol, the surprise set of the evening came from Arizona's own Gin Blossoms, who lead singer Robin Wilson introduced the quintet as Glendale's "pain-in-the-ass cousins from Tempe."

The jangle pop and light alternative rock contained in their set came largely from the Blossoms' acclaimed 1993 album, New Miserable Experience which was written with late guitarist Doug Hopkins. They strummed through hits like "Found Out About You" and "Follow You Down" with the vigor of a triumphant homecoming.

Wilson even ventured out into the crowd to give security a run for their money for "Hey Jealously," only to throw his faulty harmonica down in frustration for "Follow You Down."

One could make the argument that Everclear has always been living in the past, especially when you consider their hits "Father of Mine" and "AM Radio" are about such themes. With the exception of their 2012 release Invisible Stars, the last few years the band has coasted by on releasing cover albums and re-recording their hits.

The band seemed to struggle through their set partially because Art Alexakis' vocals were turned way down, making it difficult for anyone in the audience to hear him cry the band's early hits "Santa Monica" and "Heroin Girl."

Other sound issues popped up after Everclear's set when the microphone went out in the middle of a stirring speech by members of the Glendale Fire Department were giving a tribute to the 19 firefighters who perished in the Yarnell Fire tragedy. Since this the first year of the Liquid Sol Festival, issues with the sound can be forgiven, even when they caused bands to go on an hour later than scheduled.

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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil