Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Concert review: Third Eye Blind relives the best of the ‘90s to sold-out Dallas crowd
They saved “Semi-Charmed Life” for the encore. What didn’t make an appearance, strangely, was their other '90s biggie, “How’s It Going To Be.”
It’s been 16 years since Third Eye Blind’s first album debuted, selling millions of copies worldwide and making this California rock band one of the most memorable groups from the '90s. The band's still got it, proof of the sold-out concert at House of Blues Tuesday night, where the group took the audience on an adrenaline-inducing joyride down memory lane.
Even though it's been four years since Third Eye Blind has released a hit, their repertoire is a timeless look at the alt-rock decade, reminding us of the anti-grunge trends of the time.
Founding member and front man Stephan Jenkins (the only original member left besides drummer Brad Hargreaves) did not shy away from the spotlight, making a dramatic entrance in all black with a drooping hood covering his face. Disappointingly, he wore the hood for a few tracks too many, making for an anticlimactic unveiling.
The singer showed no signs of aging in one of the opening tracks, “Losing A Whole Year.” His lucid vocals made it seem like it had only been a few weeks instead of years since they were on the road.
The crowd sang and shouted along at every curve, further fueling Jenkins' enthusiasm. His impassioned chart-topper “Graduate” leaned on this crowd interaction: When he couldn’t nail the gritty screams at the bridge, he let the fans do the heavy lifting. What’s refreshing is the fact that 3eb knows its role and stuck largely to the plethora of past hits the audience craved. New material was sandwiched between familiar tracks, though Jenkins did say a 2014 album is coming.
One of those shiny new songs, “All I Want (Dopamine),” confirmed what many dedicated 3eb supporters have been asking for years: Will their sound move in a new direction? The answer is no.
Supported by a softer acoustic guitar, the single is a stone’s throw from their previous style, mixing a strong dose of Jenkins' crisp chords with a forced attempt at a falsetto. Then, "Wounded," with its sprinting drum roll and slowed verses, re-energized the crowd, ushering in more singalongs. “Slow Motion,” one of the most subdued numbers of the night, inspired the close-knit intimacy that’s hard to achieve in a sold-out set. The band finished the regular set on a high with “Motorcycle Drive By” and “Jumper,” saving “Semi-Charmed Life” for the encore.
What didn’t make an appearance, sadly, was their other '90s biggie, “How’s It Going To Be.”
The wide-eyed group Team opened the night with their own indie rock cocktail. Much like Atlas Genius, Team builds on frontman Caleb Turman’s (Forever The Sickest Kids) steady vocals and hearty guitar work. The band is a compilation of bigger acts Boys Like Girls, Dallas’ own Forever The Sickest Kids and The Almost. On their first tour as a new band, they filled those intimidating shoes with ease by connecting with the crowd in between the charged tracks.