Last Night: Third Eye Blind and Jimmy Eat World in The Woodlands

Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins
Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins Photo by Matthew Keever
Third Eye Blind, Jimmy Eat World
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
July 28, 2019

This tour wasn't supposed to happen. At least, not like this.

About halfway through Third Eye Blind's performance at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Saturday, vocalist Stephan Jenkins admitted to the crowd that the Summer Gods tour almost fell apart before it even began.

Third Eye Blind had planned to put out a new album back in May, but its release was delayed. The band was left with little reason to go on tour, but wheels had already begun to turn. So they, along with Jimmy Eat World, decided to give it the old college try.

New music or not, Houston fans were eager to revisit the San Francisco rock outfit's greatest hits. And Third Eye Blind gave the people exactly what they wanted, ripping through nearly 20 songs in just over 90 minutes.

After opening with their latest single, "Screamer," the band launched into "Never Let You Go," an upbeat track that was allegedly written about Jenkins' former girlfriend Charlize Theron. From there, the band performed a medley of hits including "Graduate," "Jumper" and "How's It Going to Be."

Only one other song from their forthcoming record made in into the set, sandwiched between two of their most iconic tracks. Which was fine, because the crowd seemed more interested in singing along to the likes of "Motorcycle Drive By" than hearing anything new from Jenkins anyway.

But Third Eye Blind is no nostalgia act. It would be easy to label them as such, given their inability to recreate the success they saw shortly after their debut, but the band's newer material has maintained its pop rock sensibility. And even if Jenkins' reputation as a prima donna coupled with some onstage ramblings don't paint him as the most likable guy, his music always comes across as both heartfelt and thought-provoking.

And if we're being honest, Jenkins probably isn't too worried about our opinions anyway. He wants to sell tickets, sure, but for 25 years now, Third Eye Blind has been marching to the beat of Jenkins' drum. And while they aren't as big of a name as they were in the mid- to late-90s, Third Eye Blind still selling out amphitheaters around the United States. Not exactly slumming it.

click to enlarge Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World - PHOTO BY MATTHEW KEEVER
Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World
Photo by Matthew Keever
Before Third Eye Blind's performance, Jimmy Eat World warmed up the crowd with their world-weary rock anthems. The Arizona rock outfit, whose lineup hasn't changed since 1995, took fans on a nostalgic ride spanning from 1999's Clarity to their latest release, 2016's Integrity Blues.

Jimmy Eat World's set was both fast-paced and polished, not unlike their music. The quartet's set was jam-packed with hits, a few lesser-known cuts and a sing-along for the ages.

Much like Third Eye Blind, Jimmy Eat World's standing in the music industry has been unfortunately condensed to the likes of "Sweetness" and "The Middle."

These are great songs that, for better or worse, have been around long enough to become background noise on your car radio. But Jimmy Eat World boasts a deep catalog of catchy tunes, and they too have a new album they hope to release by the end of the year.

And if it sounds like anything else they've released in the past quarter of a century, it should be fantastic.

(Third Eye Blind)
Never Let You Go
Back To Zero
Can You Take Me
I Want You
Slow Motion
Motorcycle Drive By
Company Of Strangers
Blinded (When I See You)
How's It Going To Be
Semi-Charmed Life
Losing a Whole Year

(Jimmy Eat World)
Bleed American
Lucky Denver Mint
Love Never
Always Be
Hear You Me
Sure And Certain
Big Casino
A Praise Chorus
The Middle
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Matt is a regular contributor to the Houston Press’ music section. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in print journalism and global business. Matt first began writing for the Press as an intern, having accidentally sent his resume to the publication's music editor instead of the news chief. After half a decade of attending concerts and interviewing musicians, he has credited this fortuitous mistake to divine intervention.
Contact: Matthew Keever