By Erik Badia
Walking into The Fishery, a quaint restaurant on the water in East Rockaway, on a weeknight, one wouldn't expect to see Robin Wilson of The Gin Blossoms tucked into a corner playing an acoustic guitar, surrounded by families enjoying dinner. But that's exactly what Wilson was doing, playing an intimate show to a packed restaurant filled with local fans and diners alike.
In contrast to the calm, relaxed atmosphere of the show and restaurant was Wilson's adorable son, Gray, who roamed the floor rambunctiously with a bright red mini Fender Stratocaster; he will surely inherit dad's great musical abilities someday. This was one of three solo acoustic shows for Wilson at the Fishery, something he obviously enjoys doing, as there can't be much reimbursement for the gig. The smile on his face says that he truly enjoys playing at his own pace, performing the music of his choice without the thousands of screaming fans he usually has to contend with.
Wilson played two one-hour sets containing a mixture of Gin Blossoms hits, solo material, and covers. In this peaceful solo setting; Wilson's talents were immediately apparent. His guitar playing was smooth and clean, and his voice is captivating-especially when he is only 10 feet from you. Whether it's the popular Gin Blossoms anthems "Hey Jealousy" and "Till I Hear It From You," new Longshadows material in "Simple Minded Way," or covers of classics, Wilson didn't disappoint. His amazing voice and talented guitar playing allows him to cover others' songs well. Wilson played everything from "Having A Party" by Sam Cooke to "Running Back" by Thin Lizzy to "Rocket Man" by Elton John. One doesn't have to bea Gin Blossoms fan to appreciate the great music that Robin Wilson makes, whether it's his own or someone else's.