“We really shouldn’t be on tour,” Stephan Jenkins – the driving force and voice behind Third Eye Blind – confessed halfway through the bands 75-minute set Monday night at the Brown Theater.
“We SHOULD be in a studio working on our new record,” Stephan smiled at the crowd’s applause. “But we are taking a few weeks to get a little inspiration… And tonight we are going to play some stuff we haven’t played in a long time.” And within minutes, Stephan was making good on the claim by belting out an acoustic version of the 2009 deep-cut “Dao of St. Paul,” and later by leading the band through the title track from their 2008 Red Star EP.
Third Eye Blind – like many bands defined by a particular decade – have had to make a choice: to be defined by their greatest hits (which often allows a chance to play bigger venues) or to become a fan’s band – playing deep cuts and re-working their music for a smaller number of more dedicated listeners.
And it would probably be easier for Third Eye Blind to stick to the hits. Not only are there quite a few recognizable songs to play, the band is down to only two long-time members, making learning back catalog pieces even more difficult than normal. But one gets the sense when watching Stephan Jenkins work the stage that he doesn’t like the easy way out.
After 12 songs spanning all four of the bands major releases, plus a full-crowd sing-along of “Jumper ” (including a five minute drum solo), the band closed the set by breaking into a completely re-worked version of 2009’s “Monotov’s Private Opera.” The plodding acoustic number became a crowd-pleasing rave-up, accentuated by Stephan swinging glow sticks into the audience from the darkened stage.
“We’ve had an amazing time tonight,” Stephan promised after the band had returned for an encore and slammed through mega-hit “Semi-Charmed Life. ” “And we want to play a song we haven’t played live in years. ” The band finished the evening by proving Stephan’s earlier promise with the emotional 1997 deep cut “The Background. ”
Third Eye Blind | Brown Theater | Louisville | May 16, 2011
Losing a Whole Year
Can You Take Me
Never Let You Go
Dao of St Paul (Stephen acoustic)
Monotov's Private Opera
Photo: Brian Eichenberger