Cracker, Gin Blossoms, and Spin Doctors

New World Music Theatre - Tinley Park, IL

August 13, 1994

First Appeared in The Music Box, Sept/Oct 1994, Volume 1, #4

Written by John Metzger

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On August 13, the Spin Doctors visited the Chicago area in support of its latest album Turn It Upside Down. This year's show was a huge improvement over last year, with a much better light show and a higher level of inspiration. Ok, so maybe the group wasn't so inspired on Little Miss Can't Be Wrong and You Let Your Heart Go Too Fast, but given how often these songs undoubtedly are performed out of necessity, it's hard to blame them. Two Princes nearly suffered the same fate, but was very much revived by some hefty jamming near the end of the tune.

The Spin Doctors sounded great on everything else, including the bizarre Biscuit Head, the group's own interpretation of Joni Mitchell's Woodstock, and a very funky What Time Is It? The band opened the show with a killer version of Jimmy Olsen's Blues which came up just short of exploding into a nice spaced-out jam, reminiscent of the Grateful Dead's Playin' in the Band. Indeed, the ensemble seemed poised on a precipice just looking out into that formless, jam-filled space into which the Grateful Dead so often would plunge, but instead of jumping, the Spin Doctors climbed back down the ladder. Perhaps, the audience just wasn't up for the leap.

The Gin Blossoms preceded the Spin Doctors, and performed with a surprisingly intense level of energy. The band had a much harsher sound than it demonstrates on its studio recordings, and, often, it was reminiscent of Neil Young and Crazy Horse. It certainly added a different twist to the pop radio favorites Allison Road and Hey Jealousy. The group played a number of unrecorded songs that also contained this new harsher edge.

Cracker opened the show with a ragged and raw performance that pulled no punches, but ran together and sounded like mush.

Spin Doctors' Pocket Full of Kryptonite is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!

Gin Blossoms' New Miserable Experience is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!

Cracker's Kerosene Hat is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!

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Copyright 1994 The Music Box