By Ashley Lucas
Twenty years ago, San Francisco based rock band, Third Eye Blind, released their self-titled debut album. This summer, they’ve been touring around the nation, celebrating the success of that album. As someone who grew up with that album on repeat in my first car, these songs are like the soundtrack of my high school years. With the catchy, fun songs like “Semi-Charmed Life” and introspective rock ballads such as “God of Wine”, 3EB spanned the emotional roller coaster that is adolescence.
The band’s latest stop was Elmwood Park in downtown Roanoke, thanks to the Budweiser Summer Concert Series. Seventy degrees and clear, it was a perfect night for an outdoor show, and Third Eye Blind was blasting the past right out of every person in attendance. The crowd was as diverse as ever: early 20’s girls in flannel, middle aged folks, parents with kids. They all had one thing in common; an excited anticipation to see one of the 90’s most anthemic bands.
Lead singer, Stephan Jenkins, and drummer Brad Hargreaves, are the only two original 3EB members, but the band was perfectly in sync, warranting a comment from Jenkins about how tight they sounded. The 53-year-old Jenkins, who was dressed down in a plain black hoodie and dark denim, still got around the stage pretty well. While I imagine the mid-30s Jenkins had a bit more spunk and edge, he nevertheless rocked the front man swagger.
The setlist was a mix of old and new, and the fans in the front row knew every word to every song. Highlights were “Motorcycle Drive By”, “How’s It Going To Be”, and “Dopamine”, the title track off their 2015 release. My personal favorite release of theirs from the last 10 years, a cover of Beyonce’s “Mine”, was unfortunately not on the setlist, but that was easily forgiven. It was one of those rare shows where you feel less like a spectator, and more like a part of the band. And I think that was intentional.
If you happened to miss the show, or just didn’t get enough 3EB, you can catch them nearby in Charlottesville on October 20th at the Jefferson Theater.