Third Eye Blind House of Blues December 2, 2013
Nearly an hour into their performance at House of Blues Monday night, Third Eye Blind finally got the crowd's attention.
"Miss Jones taught me English, but I think I just shot her son," Stephan Jenkins crooned as fans sang along, "'cause he owed me money. With a bullet in the chest, you cannot run. Now he's bleeding in a vacant lot, the one in the summer where we used to smoke pot. I guess I didn't mean it, but man you should have seen it: his flesh explode."
A criticism of America's infatuation with and glamorization of violence and drug use, "Slow Motion" was originally deemed too controversial by Elektra Records to be included on the band's 1999 sophomore album Blue. Since being released on A Collection in '06, the anti-establishment anthem has grown in popularity and was the first real crowd-pleaser at Monday night's show. Fans were drawn in, cell phones were raised high into the air and fans cheered wildly as the song concluded.
The preceding hour, meanwhile, wasn't quite so captivating.
Hurrying through 12 songs before "Slow Motion," the San Francisco-born quintet barely performed anything in its entirety, instead playing a verse and chorus of each ballad before transitioning into the next. "Crystal Baller," "Graduate" and "Wounded" piqued the crowd's interest, but Third Eye Blind never capitalized on the buildup until an hour into their performance. From then on, the show improved but still didn't reach its apex until the encore.
I applaud the band for peppering its set list with lesser-known songs for seasoned fans, but let's not forget why they were playing at a sold-out venue: the hits, the ones that everyone wants to hear and sing along to. And in that regard, Third Eye Blind disappointed many and only barely redeemed themselves by saving the best for last.
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Almost two hours of music performed by one of the most iconic '90s bands left fans feeling underwhelmed. Despite a strong finale consisting of three established cuts off their debut eponymous album, the evening was still an overall letdown. It felt as though Third Eye Blind was simply going through the motions for much of the show, and the crowd responded in kind by chatting away through most of it.
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While it failed to meet expectations, fans still poured out of House of Blues late Monday night with smiles spread ear to ear. In the face of a near-bust, everyone still got to hear plenty of old favorites and chant along to the likes of "Jumper" and "Semi-Charmed Life." Much like the latter song, which is chock-full of dark lyricism, it all managed to feel lively and upbeat overall.
Personal Bias: These guys were one of my favorite bands when I was a kid, and I still listen to them regularly. I only hope I get a chance to see them perform again when they're more on top of their game.
Overheard in the Crowd: "Your friend, he looks like he could be Brian Cushing's son. And the guy in front of him looks like the lead singer of System of a Down."
Random Notebook Dump: Did they think no one would notice that they didn't play "How's It Going to Be"?
Losing a Whole Year Crystal Baller Non-Dairy Creamer Faster Danger Never Let You Go Can You Take Me Graduate Water Landing Bonfire Dopamine Wounded Slow Motion Deep Inside of You Get Me Outta' Here Motorcycle Drive By Jumper 1000 Julys Anything
Narcolepsy Semi-Charmed Life God of Wine
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
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