This past Wednesday, it was an all-out 1990s revival when Third Eye Blind took the stage at the House of Blues Sunset Strip.
Through the years, I've grown more and more attached to the music I grew up with (as is probably the case with most people as we careen toward 30). That's especially true regarding Third Eye Blind. The band's self-titled 1997 album is STILL one of my absolute favorites, despite it being nearly 20 years old (sigh).
Because of that, I enjoy their live shows immensely. Even though Stephan Jenkins and Brad Hargreaves (drums) are now the only original members still around (everybody knows about the band's lengthy history of turnover and lineup changes), it hardly matters. They don't tour often, but when they do you can bet you're getting a top-notch show delivered by some excellent musicians. For example, the band's new keyboard/piano player - who's just 24! - adds a depth to the live show that they didn't have in the past. Fun fact: he was EIGHT YEARS OLD when Semi-Charmed Life was everywhere. Wild.
As for the gig - it was absolutely packed, probably one of the most highly-attended HOB Sunset shows I've ever seen. When the lights went off around 9:10 p.m., anticipation swelled...and while the band didn't utilize the light-up board spelling out T-H-I-R-D-E-Y-E-B-L-I-N-D behind them (I assume due to space issues), its absence didn't affect the show aesthetically.
For the first 15 minutes or so of the set, Jenkins, clad in a hoodie that covered his head, sang using a mic that dropped down from up above. He didn't greet the crowd until maybe ten minutes later, preferring instead to let the music do the talking for him.
Set-list wise, fans couldn't have asked for much more.
After teasing both Don't Believe a Word and The Red Summer Sun, they opened the show with Losing a Whole Year, sending everyone into a frenzy.
Once he removed the hood and began addressing the audience, Jenkins really loosened up. He told stories, reflected on what it meant to have so many people pack the venue for the band in 2013, and even poked fun at himself a bit.
When talking about how the band was supposed to have new music out in time for this tour, he noted that "in typical Stephan fashion I fucked that all up!", alluding to the infamous between-album delays that have characterized the band for the past 13 years or so.
As for the new songs, they were pretty interesting. One of them, Get Me Out of Here, was particularly promising:
Water Landing, from 2009's Ursa Major, was also another highlight, with Jenkins taking time to say that it's one of his favorite songs to play every night.
As the set wore on, the band played a few of the classic hits - Jumper was met with an absolutely deafening roar of approval, with fans singing the whole song very loudly:
Crystal Baller, from 2003's underrated Out of the Vein, was also a treat:
Though the band opted not to play How's It Gonna Be, they did elect to run through Never Let You Go:
And, naturally, fan favorites Slow Motion and Motorcycle Drive By, all building to an encore/finale of Narcolepsy (a personal favorite), Semi-Charmed Life and God of Wine.
Here's the full set list:
One of Jenkins' speeches was about how he and his band mates feel pretty great right now about everything. He said they plan to head back to the studio to finish a new record after the holidays.
Hopefully, those sessions go well and the band releases new music in early 2014 - because they sounded as strong as ever at the House of Blues, and it'd be great to see them come back sooner rather than later.
Photos borrowed via CrowdAlbum, click here to view more