Third Eye Blind with Jimmy Eat World
By: Sean Moore/ Photos By: Jennie Walker
The rain and thunderstorms could not stop the widely popular alternative rock “Summer Gods” Third Eye Blind and their tour partners, Jimmy Eat World from playing at Thompson’s Point, Saturday night. Although, the storms did delay the start of the show and force openers Ra Ra Riot to play a shortened set of four songs, giving the crowd a taste of their electro-pop danceable tunes including “Beta Love,” a new song called “Flowers” and the aptly titled “Water,” given the setting of the show at Thompson’s Point, ended their set.
The rain had completely stopped by the time Jimmy Eat World took the stage and everyone was ready to party like it was the early ‘00s when the band ripped into “Pain,” followed by the title track from their 2004 album Futures, a couple of heavier, darker tunes, before hitting the crowd with the power-pop of their massively successful “Bleed American,” which got the crowd scream-singing along at the top of their lungs, heads tilted up towards the sky. Once Jimmy Eat World started their set, the entirety of Thompson’s Point became the setting for something like a cross between a high school reunion and that high school party where everyone showed up and partied like the past four years never even mattered. The atmosphere was soaked with nostalgia, the remnants of rain, and gray clouds clearing slowly, as people of all ages converged for a good time together, no cares in the world. Everyone was having a great time, living in the moment, living within the music like when you sing in your car with the windows down.
Of course, the songs that got the biggest reactions from the crowd were those songs from Bleed American, which happened to come out about a month before the tragedy of September 11, 2001. At this point in their career, having put out 5 albums after it, the band knows what the audience wants to hear and they do not disappoint when they play songs like “Sweetness,” the ballad “Hear You Me”, as well as the one-two punch of “A Praise Chorus” and “The Middle” to end their set. They did sprinkle in a Clarity-era song “Lucky Denver Mint” as well as a new tune “Love Never” that Jim Adkins promised would be on the new album they’re working on, which is due at some point this year, hopefully, since their most recent album Integrity Blues came out in 2016. “Sure and Certain” was the catchy, power chord tune they chose to include in their set. And that’s the thing about this band, they seem to have mastered the art of crafting an alternative-pop song that will be catchy and easy to remember.
When Third Eye Blind took the stage, it seemed like the night was going by too fast, even though the summer sun had not even set yet. As frontman Stephen Jenkins came out he donned a sleeveless hoodie covering his face as the band played two rather obscure, unknown songs “Screamer” and “The Kids” to start their set. But, once Jenkins played the first riffs of “Never Let You Go,” the crowd became one loud, massive scream of joy. Everyone sang along and at some points even sang over Jenkins. The band went back to rather obscure songs within a medley which ended with “London” from the band’s first and massively successful self-titled album. And it was as if they knew exactly what everyone wanted to hear as they continued with the “party” vibe playing “Graduate,” which is a bit of a rock-n-roll tune, and showcased that Stephen Jenkins can still scream when the song calls for it, which is rather impressive after 20+ years. When “I Want You” was nearing its end, the rest of the band left the stage and Jenkins finished it alone with his acoustic guitar and played the last track from their Blue album “Slow Motion” by himself, along with the beginning of “Motorcycle Drive By” before he was rejoined on stage by the rest of the band. People were wandering around, perhaps attempting to buy another drink or head to the bathroom through a few of the lesser known songs, but then “Jumper” began and everyone lost their minds. This became that singalong song that someone plays at a party. Jenkins didn’t even bother singing at one point. He just pointed the microphone in the crowd’s direction and everyone took over, arms around each other’s shoulders. He made a point of thanking everyone for being there and even admitted a bit of skepticism that the band could play such a “large” venue (about 5,000, but it looked packed and nearly sold out. “Crystal Baller” and “How’s It Going to Be” ended the set and all the people who came with friends were hugging and swaying as they sang along. The band came out for an encore that included a new tune and of course, “Semi-Charmed Life”, perhaps one of the defining songs of the late ‘90s. Jenkins told the crowd, “we might as well play until the curfew, but you don’t have to stay, if you don’t want to…” and they played “Losing a Whole Year” to an appreciative crowd that did not migrate to the exits.