Third Eye Blind could easily be considered one of the penultimate hits of the 90’s. Their self-titled record (released in 1997) produced five different singles, two of which are generally revered as anthems of the era that bred them. Although the band released a new record this past spring titled Dopamine, Thursday’s show at the Fillmore made it apparent that their fans have still clung to the band’s original work more than anything else from their discography, past or present.
Opening the show was another group from the early 2000’s - Dashboard Confessional. After a rare appearance at Riot Fest Chicago last fall, the band has made a full return to touring for the first time in years. Opening with tracks like “The Good Fight”, “Again I Go Unnoticed” and “Saints and Sailors”, lead singer Chris Carrabba and his bandmates made it clear that they understood what the audience wanted from their set: old hits, sing alongs, and plenty of energy. The band gave the room just that - with Carrabba jumping from one end of stage to the next, and players Scott Schoenbeck and John Lefler giving the crowd equal amounts of energy. The group hit every end of their discography, although they were careful about how much material from their last two records got time in their set - a choice that I personally appreciated because it left room for beloved B-sides like “Remember To Breathe" and funny intermissions with the band covering Nelly’s “Ignition”. Ending the set with fan favorites “Vindicated” and “Hands Down”, Carrabba told the crowd “thanks for bringing us back. I don’t plan for us to ever go away, ever again”.
Third Eye Blind took to the stage amdist fog and ominous backlighting. Opening with “Graduate”, the crowd was immediately enthralled, singing back every word, head banging along with lead singer Stephan Jenkins through the chorus. Taking a moment at the end of their first three songs, Jenkin’s instructed fans to “be present - right here, right now. It all goes too fast”. Wearing a Kanye/Bieber-esque leather man-skirt with matching harem pants, the rest of the band donned almost all-black outfits, adding to the dimension of the stage. Jenkins was bouncing around stage - almost too animated - with his characteristic funny-man stylings. The band’s newly released record took up a bit more of their set list than I would have preferred, leading the set to feel a bit lagging as only so many of the audience members had heard the new record compared to their back catalog catalog, and it really showed; when the group took time to dig deeper was when the room was most alive. The band also took a few minutes to let drummer Brad Hardgreaves take a unique solo, featuring EDM tracks and out of place covers of “Paper Planes” by MIA, and “With Or Without You” by U2. Ending their set with the radio single “Jumper”, fans were re-energized to the point where they “mouth-guitar” sang the guitar solo of the song so loud that guitarist Kevin Cadogan couldn’t even play it. The stage then went dark, and fans cheered for what felt like a solid 5+ minutes before the band re-entered stage, playing “Never Let You Go”, followed by the obvious closer, “Semi-Charmed Life”.
A great tour for all the 20 and 30-somethings now trapped in the American working world, this show is a great night out to reminisce with friends about our younger years. While I feel that Third Eye Blind’s choice to tour during with a brand new record during this "era" of ten-year anniversary tours (if you will) was maybe not the best choice, it was certainly a fun time for all involved nonetheless.
Third Eye Blind and Dashboard Confessional will be continuing this tour through the end of the summer, hopefully stopping in a city near you.