Bay area alt-rockers Third Eye Blind sure have built up quite the following since their debut full length and self-titled record in 1997. As they took to the stage by the water in Boston, that sentiment was justified as a sold out crowd of well over 5,000 people roared. Vocalist Stephan Jenkins found a spot at the back of the stage on a small riser, grabbing a mic that hung down from the rafters, shouting “Can I graduate?” in his instantly recognizable tone. The crowd behind me was almost deafeningly loud, singing along to every word. Jenkins stayed at the back of the stage for a fantastic performance of “Blinded” from their 2003 full length Out of the Vein before picking up a guitar and coming forwards for “Wounded.” From that moment on, Jenkins worked the crowd, getting everyone involved in what felt like a massive singalong. As the set continued on, the band touched on a variety of favorites from every record they’ve released. At one point, the band even performed their new cover of Beyoncé’s “Mine.”
As the show continued on, the band worked through a few tracks from their latest (and reportedly final) full length Dopamine which went over very well with the crowd. They also touched on favorites such as “Motorcycle Drive By” (a personal favorite of mine) and “How’s It Going To Be” before giving drummer Brad Hargreaves a chance to shine during a very unexpected drum solo. The crowd ate it up, cheering him along for every second of the lengthy solo.
The band came back out to play a few more songs, and closed the set with mega-hit “Jumper,” which got every person up and dancing. It felt almost spiritual even though I could barely hear Jenkins’ vocals over the crowd. Seeing a band get such an incredible crowd response in a seated venue is extremely invigorating to see for a musician that thrives on crowd interaction such as myself. As the band left the stage, the crowd didn’t even give them a chance to think they were done. Every member knew they had some more songs left and let the band know that they wanted them back immediately. As the five men came back out to an orchestra of cheers and whistles, the band kicked into one of my personal favorite tracks from their new record, “Something In You,” before closing with one of the most memorable songs of the 1990’s and easily their biggest hit, “Semi-Charmed Life.” As the band strummed their last notes, it seemed like a perfect ending to a perfect show, but the crowd wasn’t done. They wanted more, and the band obliged. As they took to the stage for one last song, they played the emotional ballad “God of Wine” for the first time all tour. Just when I thought this show couldn’t get any better, Third Eye Blind proved me wrong. Ending with such a powerful track instead of “Semi-Charmed Life” just felt right for such a cathartic night.
Going into the show, I was very excited to see a band that I grew up listening to on my portable CD player on the way to elementary school live for the first time. I was expecting a good show, but wasn’t exactly sure how a band on the tail-end of their career would capture the audience. What awaited me was a captivating performance filled with extreme amounts of passion and energy. I feel as if Jenkins’ vocals haven’t fallen back even a step since their debut full length in 1997, and not-knowing what is in store for the band’s future is a hard thought to process. However, if this just happened to be the first and last time I ever saw the band, I would have a sense of satisfaction as it just happened to be one of the best shows I have ever seen in my lifetime. Cheers to you, Third Eye Blind.
Check out the full online photo gallery of Third Eye Blind’s show on June 18th in Boston, MA after the jump, and purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here.
All photos by Jason Cox.