Amongst sweaty and intoxicated fans, I braved the crowds at Sound Academy last night to see 90s alternative rock band, Third Eye Blind. Worth it? Every second! Despite the bias of being a fan, myself, the band’s performance was flawless and just what a live show should be: entertaining! Opening act, local talent Midway State, whetted our appetites, playing ambient music with a Third Eye Blind-esque style.
In between songs, Midway State lead singer Nathan Ferraro appealed to our generation, saying “I remember being 16 years old, putting on my copy of Big Shiny Tunes 2, and hearing, for the first time, the best [expletive deleted] song I’ve ever heard.” The song in question? Arguably Third Eye Blind’s most famous song of all: Semi-Charmed Life. Ferraro conveyed the sense of surrealism he felt, opening for one of his favourite bands of all time.
After several songs, including some covers, and an agonizingly long intermission, the Big Shiny Tunes 2 sensation took the stage! Throughout the set, the band played old familiar songs and it became clear, very quickly, that I was one of many fans. The Sound Academy walls reverberated with the voices of hundreds, singing, in unison, lines like “I wish you would step back from that ledge, my friend. You could cut ties with all the lies that you’ve been living in” from the song “Jumper.”
One or two songs in, lead singer Stephan Jenkins donned an old-fashioned hat and an interesting stage persona. Although I was slightly unsure of the significance of said hat, his boyish attitude and quirkiness seemed to impress and please fans. The energy in the room was undeniable and was ongoing throughout the entire set. At one point, Jenkins tossed handfuls of glow sticks to fans and, no doubt, watched as they scrambled for them.
Like all concerts, good things must come to an end. But, however cramped, sweaty, sore and uncomfortable we all were, we weren’t going to let Third Eye Blind get away without playing their signature song. We demanded an encore! Jenkins and his band members didn’t disappoint. They came back to sing one new song from their upcoming album and classic, “Semi-Charmed Life.”
It was a night to remember. Midway State set the stage and Third Eye Blind took it by storm. Stephan Jenkins looked like he hadn’t aged a day since 1997 and proved that the band’s good old familiar sound hadn’t either. While they may “want something else to get [them] through this […] life,” it’s clear from last night’s turn out, that we don’t! Some things only get better with age.