THIRD EYE BLIND @ FESTIVAL PIER

WRITTEN BY: MONICA MELLON

Every time I leave a Third Eye Blind show, I swear it was the best concert I have ever been to. The lighting is always different, frontman Stephan Jenkins always has a new speech prepared for us, the set list is always a little bit different and the energy is alive and pulsating through every member of the crowd.

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the release of Third Eye Blind’s self-titled album, and as a thank you to the fans for keeping their music alive, the band dedicated its Summer Gods Tour to playing the album in order in its entirety. With promises that this would be the only time this would ever be done, it is safe to say Third Eye Blind’s mind-blowing performance at Festival Pier in Philadelphia was, hands down, the best Third Eye Blind show, and probably the best concert, I have ever experienced.

The dedicated fan in me had to arrive at Festival Pier about seven hours before the show even started to see my favorite band of all time at the barricade. Thankfully, my seven hours of waiting paid off and I was able to snatch my spot.

Before Third Eye Blind came on, we were greeted with two incredible bands: Ocean Parks Standoff and The Silversun Pickups, both of which put on passionate and energetic performances. Finally, the pre-Third Eye Blind curtain was up and the lights dimmed.

The band opened with a few songs from its newest EP “We Are Drugs,” a track from the album “Blue,” and a few hits from the most recent full album “Dopamine.” While rocking the usual all-black attire, frontman Stephan Jenkins added a touch of fabulous with his blue light-up jacket. His thankful address to the fans offered that, though he isn’t very nostalgic, this was the best form of a thank you letter the band could offer. Believe me, it was better than any thank you letter that could’ve been written.

Moving into the first side of the self-titled vinyl, as promised, it was played absolutely in order. The album opener “Losing A Whole Year,” set up the rest of the night to be utterly extraordinary.

The self-titled album’s bigger hits, such as, “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Jumper,” and “How’s It Going to Be” had every member of the crowd screaming and singing along. Personally, it was the self-titled album’s second side, with darker songs like “Good For You” and “Thanks A Lot” that stuck with me the most. It was the first time I had heard two of my favorite songs live before and it truly did not disappoint. Their depth, darkness and passion was unforgettably evident.

Closing out the album, the band beautifully performed the album’s slower songs “The Background” and “Motorcycle Driveby.” It was real, it was raw, and the best performance of “Motorcycle Driveby” that I ever heard at a Third Eye Blind show.

In between closing songs, Stephan reminded the crowd that the band was working to put out a new album over the summer, but also said, “it’s Third Eye Blind, so that means we f****d it up!” He promised it would be out soon, and that the band would be back to Philly soon enough.

The guys left for a quick break before returning for their encore and Stephan Jenkins came out rocking the bands Summer Gods Tour t-shirt, because why not.

Despite the promise of the tour, the guys did play the album a little bit out of order. Before hitting the final song of the self-titled album, “God of Wine,” they played their 1999 hit “Never Let You Go,” and a newly recorded and released song “Alright Caroline.”

Stephan told the crowd that “God of Wine” needs to be the last song, because it’s a life song. He said he likes to let those who want to leave, leave, and wants those who really need the reality and emotion of “God of Wine” to be around for it.

“It’s a driving song, it’s my drinking song,” Stephan said.

All of the emotion and the truth that is compiled into Third Eye Blind’s self-titled album was performed meticulously and passionately throughout the undoubtedly magical night.