Photography By: Adam R. Harrison
Words By: Adam R. Harrison
Personally, when I hear Third Eye Blind, I can’t help but get nostalgic. I’m taken back to the late 90s where I’m hanging out with my grade school friends in our Adidas track pants, playing some Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega Genesis and blasting “Semi-Charmed Life” through the boom box as the third track on Big Shiny Tunes 2 (possibly the greatest compilation albums ever). Some bands take offence to being called nostalgic, but 3EB embrace it. This year being the 20th anniversary of their acclaimed self-titled debut album, Third Eye Blind took the opportunity to re-live that album in its entirety on tour which included a stop at Toronto’s Echo Beach on Wednesday night.
Kicking off the evening were 3EB’s Californian neighbours and progressive indie/alternative rockers, Silversun Pickups. Wasting little of their 60-minute opening set, SSPU sprung right into their lead single “Nightlight” from their last album Better Nature. The always impressive band swooned us with their dynamic rhythms, out-of-the-box instrumentals and of course signature shrill vocals from front man, Brian Aubert. SSPU showcased their best material spanning their 4-album career including tracks like “The Pit,” “Panic Switch,” and “Lazy Eye.”
Before performing their debut album, Third Eye Blind opened their 100-minute set with some new songs from their latest EP, We Are Drugs. They kept themselves contained to an elevated platform for these tracks. But once they started the classics we were treated to the full stage show which included their name in lights and a giant illuminated eye.
Of course the beach became the scene of a massive sing-a-long as soon as the iconic record commenced and how could it not with songs like “Jumper,” “How’s It Going to Be,” and of course “Semi-Charmed Life” fronting that album. The great thing about nostalgia is that’s its most often associated with a happy memory which created a positive atmosphere across the downtown Toronto summertime venue. It was obvious that lead man, Stephan Jenkins, fed of this positivity and often encouraged it with requests like greeting a neighbouring concert goer you didn’t previously know.
During the encore, 3EB took a detour to play their hit single “Never Let You Go” from their 1999 sophomore album, Blue. They then resumed to conclude the set with “God of Wine” to finish of that first record. For both long-time fans and 3EB virgins, this tour in particular was a rare and excellent opportunity to experience the band and one of the most iconic alternative albums of the late 90s.