Third Eye Blind is on tour in support of their new album Screamer and they made a stop in Omaha at the Orpheum Theatre Tuesday night (11/26).
Playing to a packed house, Third Eye Blind brought ripping guitars, funky bass, and well, screaming vocals to keep the crowd on their feet.
Third Eye Blind released their debut self-titled album in the spring of 1997 and quickly established themselves as one of the most popular rock bands of the late 90s. Back when MTV actually cared about music, rather than garbage reality shows, Third Eye Blind became a staple of the channel’s programming with a special feature on “The Real World” and regular appearances on TRL (Total Request Live).
Songs from the self-titled release including “Semi-charmed Life,” “Jumper,” and “How’s It Going to Be” gained massive chart -topping success and helped cement the band as one of the top alternative acts in the country.
Since their debut, Third Eye Blind has released five more full length albums and several E.P.s Their latest and sixth release Screamer finds the band taking a bit more risk and exploring different musical ideas. Lead singer Stephan Jenkins was quoted in SPIN magazine “We have always been so insular, and on Screamer we adopted an open door policy — come in, be musical, and follow the song where it takes us.” Third Eye Blind played several tracks from Screamer during their set Tuesday night.
Before I get too far into the performance, Third Eye Blind brought an opening act, the indie-pop four piece Smallpools. They did a good job warming the crowd up with their brand of jangle-pop, new wave, synth rock. They were also big on crowd interaction, especially during the highlight of the set “Killer Whales.”
The song itself was pretty good, but the energy was lifted when the band threw an inflatable whale into the audience. The whale made its way around the main floor and even up to one of the balcony lodges! It provided an injection of laughs into an otherwise mellow set.
Smallpools were fun, but with the prevalence of music streaming and social media, the market is so saturated with bands who sound like they should be in a Subaru commercial. Will I remember the inflatable whale? Most definitely. Will I remember the music? I’m not so sure.
After some stage set up, the lights went dark and the crowd cheered with excitement. Heavy smoke filled the stage as the band stepped forth. All eyes were on front man Stephan Jenkins as he proceeded to shred his guitar while delivering his signature sing-rap vocals. By the time the band played their smash hit “Never Let You Go” the crowd was on their feet and ready rock! The volume went up as the crowd sang along to every word.
As I mentioned previously, Third Eye Blind pulled out several new songs from Screamer including, “The Kids Are Coming (To Take You Down),” “Walk Like Kings,” “Ways,” “Screamer,” and “Light it Up.” As much as this was a nostalgia show for folks in their late 40s and 50s, it just goes to show that Third Eye Blind is still putting out relevant music.
Later on in the set 3EB played a medley of “How Soon is Now?,” “Another Life,” and “Palm Reader.” I was so psyched when I heard the hypnotizing riffs of “How Soon is Now?” I still love the Smiths even though Morrissey is a total twit. The medley got a nice reaction from the crowd and I assume there are many in my age range who hold a fondness for the Smiths as well.
3EB worked their way through over fifteen songs before taking a short break. When the band returned they busted out their biggest hit “Semi-Charmed Life,” and the crowd went nuts singing along to the chart topping number. Guitarist Kryz Reid and bassist Alex LeCavalier traded some tasty jams extending the song by about an extra minute. It was definitely the climax of the show and I don’t think I saw anyone sitting down during the song. All around, fans danced their troubles away like it was 1997. Finally, the band closed the set with another smash hit “How’s It Going to Be.”
Third Eye Blind turned in a great performance that will have people talking for years to come. I enjoyed the fact that they mixed in a lot of new material, but kept all of their classic tunes for those who have been following all these years.
A huge thanks to Third Eye Blind’s PR for setting up photo access! You can find the band galleries below.
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