Third Eye Blind | Roundhouse | 27 September 2017
Twenty years after their self-titled debut album put them on the map – selling over six million copies in their home country alone, spawning five singles including the chart-topping ‘Semi-Charmed Life’ – Third Eye Blind haven’t stopped looking forward.
Due to drop new album ‘Summer Gods’ later this year, on stage they’re just as keen to play songs released in the past two years as the anthems that made them a staple of late-’90s radio. So, for every classic like the storytelling masterclass ‘Motorcycle Drive By’, the quintet enthusiastically play a track from 2015’s ‘Dopamine’ (like the bouncy title track and shape-shifting ‘Say It’) or the propulsive ‘Company Of Strangers’ and gritty ‘Weightless’ from last year’s EP ‘We Are Drugs’.
But instead of creating a jarring contrast of old and new, the band create a cohesive set that highlights both their songwriting and performance accomplishments. Classics like ‘Jumper’, ‘Deep Inside Of You’, and ‘How’s It Going To Be’ have clearly stood the test of time. Amongst the new offerings, the rockers are every bit as urgent and powerful as the early stuff, while the emotionally charged ballads benefit from almost two decades of life experience.
That experience is just as visible in the quintet’s ability to craft a seamless setlist their ease in connecting with their enthusiastic fans. “We’re in this together,” says frontman Stephan Jenkins after encouraging the audience to shout out requests. “We don’t come over here often enough,” he adds, “so we’re going to play until they kick us out.”
And play they certainly do. Across 20 songs, guitarist Kryz Reid lays down one sleek solo after another, Alex Kopp adds keyboard and additional guitar textures, and the low-profile rhythm section (bassist Alex LeCavalier and drummer Brad Hargreaves) deftly handle the frequent changes in pace and intensity. Up front, birthday boy Jenkins provides rhythm guitar, vocals, and (just as importantly) the bond with the fans who sing along as wholeheartedly to 2000’s hit ‘Never Let You Go’ as 2015’s ‘Rites Of Passage’.