Third Eye Blind at ONC (Slideshow)
I can remember reviewing a Third Eye Blind show at the Egyptian Room. I would have recently graduated from Lawrence North High School, just in time to get my punk-ass off the street (as some might say) and head off to Ball State University.
More than four years later, I returned to the venue for another nostalgia 90s experience. Now a graduate from Ball State, I prepared myself for what was to come. Not surprisingly, the show was a near-deja vu experience. From the crowd of dominantly 20 and 30-somethings, to their collegiate party mindsets, most in attendance seemed ready to live vicariously through 3EB's classic '90s tunes, harkening back on their days on the college dance floor, also known as some guy's living room.
An obvious air of frustration was present at the start of the night, as fans lined up in the cold and were not allowed inside until after the show's original 8 p.m. scheduled start. Upon entering, they were greeted by 3EB's touring opener, Hydra Melody. While the group relied heavily on typical pop punk song structures, their auxiliary, Local Natives-esque percussion was refreshing.
During the set, Hydra Melody lead singer Jordan Berlanga shed light on a possible cause for the concert's late start, saying something to the effect of "Blame Wicked. I don't know why." As with many nights at Old National Centre, multiple events were taking place in the building, and on this particular night, a performance of Wicked was happening in the Murat Theatre, pushing back events in the Egyptian Room.
After a rousing, "You ready to get punched in the face by Third Eye Blind?" introduction by X103's Nigel during the intermission, the '90s radio mainstay took the stage, opening with partial renditions of "Don't Believe A Word," "The Red Summer Sun," and "Losing A Whole Year." The band continued playing songs from their four studio releases, being steadily joined by a chorus of nostalgic 3EB faithful, imagining the Egyptian Room was their favorite bump-and-grind bar from college.
Lead singer Stephan Jenkins addressed his group's absence from the touring circuit, educating the crowd on how difficult of a life it is to be a touring musician. "I feel like more of a weather system than a human," he said. In an email interview four years back, I had asked the San Franciscan why his band so often took extended hiatuses. He answered, "There really is no reason, I never know where the time goes, but we're glad to be putting out an album (2009's Ursa Major) now and glad that there's so much interest in it." Since that interview, the band has continued on with their inconsistent pattern of releasing albums. In fact, 3EB are currently preparing to release their fifth and final album, the long-awaited follow-up to Ursa Major.
The remainder of the band's set consisted primarily of the expected hits, including, "Never Let You Go," "Graduate," "Jumper" and "Semi-Charmed Life." The band also showcased some new radio-friendly material, which had tinges of Angels and Airwaves' synth-driven positivity. Jenkins also preached to the community of fans that he has come in contact with over many scattered years of touring. The band returned to the stage for their encore, which included "Narcolepsy" and "God of Wine" from their 1997 breakthrough release, closing with the chanting portion from Ursa Major track "Bonfire."