2015 Marks the return of Boston’s only completely free music festival; the Outside The Box Performing Arts Festival. First presented in 2013, the festival took a year off last year only to return with over 70 performing arts acts. The festival takes over Boston’s largest public park, the Boston Common for one week in mid July. This time around Outside The Box organizers have teamed up with Boston radio station WBOS 92.9 to combine the festival with another popular free event, EarthFest.
The traditional Earthfest will take place on Saturday, but on Thursday night 90’s alternative giants the Gin Blossoms took to the stage to help kick off the Earthfest festivities. With WBOS incorporating more 90’s music than ever to their station this year, the Gin Blossoms served as a perfect act to get Boston in the mood for a fun, music filled weekend. Gin Blossoms are perhaps most known for their hit singles “Hey Jealousy” and “Follow You Down” both of which would make their way into the set on Thursday. But don’t mistake them for a nostalgia act, the band can still bring it.
Playing tracks from throughout their career the band managed to grow their crowd with each passing song. It can often be tough for a band playing a free public gig, as many in the crowd are hearing several of the band’s songs for the first time. Gin Blossoms frontman Robin Wilson did an excellent job of getting the crowd to participate however, many of them seemed to enjoy what they heard.
When the band launched into the opening notes of “Hey Jealousy” it seemed as if everyone came together. Between the fans who had shown up to see the Gin Blossoms specifically, those enjoying a summer evening in the park, and even those passing by on their way home from work, it seemed like everybody wanted to join in on the fun. The crowd had grown, and even begged Gin Blossoms for an encore, which they were happy to provide.
Ending the early evening set with another incredibly popular track “Follow You Down” Gin Blossoms got the crowd dancing with their infectious brand of 90’s jangle rock. No matter what drew you down to the Boston Common on Thursday night, odds are if you were present you had a good time and left in a good mood.