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Third Eye Blind score big at Derby Lane




The first concert I ever saw was Third Eye Blind, Our Lady Peace and Eve 6, and it was awesome. Come on -- summer of '98, the chance to hear Semi-Charmed Life, Superman's Dead and Inside Out live, all in one night? Dude. I still wear the T-shirt.

I'm guessing a lot of people my age must have had a similar experience. Because over the past dozen or so years, Third Eye Blind has, weirdly, developed a bit of a cult following, with fans who regard the band's self-titled 1997 debut as an all-killer-no-filler classic.

To a non-Third Eye Blind fan, that may sound a little strange. After all, how many other bands from the morass of late-'90s modern pop-rock -- much less a band with only one big hit and three studio albums -- still have a fan base eager for new material? 

But trust me -- fans do feel this way about Third Eye Blind. It was evident during their concert Sunday at Derby Lane in St. Pete.

"We feel like we've been in the dark for a long time, so let's just play until they kick us out," singer Stephan Jenkins told the crowd at the 97X Fisher and Boy Birthday Bash.

True, the band hasn't released a new album since 2003's Out of the Vein, but all the old faves still felt fresh -- Crystal Baller, Never Let You Go, Slow Motion, Wounded. None of these songs were ever as big as Semi-Charmed Life, but a bunch of fans still sang along to every word.

A guy next to me screamed for Motorcycle Drive By, the soaring, penultimate track on Third Eye Blind, and when Jenkins obliged, he seemed like he was in heaven.

The band played a handful of tracks from their upcoming album Ursa Major -- the catchy A Bonfire and skittery screamer Don't Believe a Word were my favorites -- and people seemed pretty okay with them all.

But the old stuff, predictably, was what really got everyone's fists pumping, especially on the opening strands of Jumper ("I wish you would step back from that ledge, my friend...") and the pre-encore closer, Semi-Charmed Life, which Jenkins interspersed with -- why not? -- a snippet of Nelly's Must Be The Money.

At the end of Semi-Charmed Life, a female fan who'd been crowd-surfing all afternoon hopped the fence and ran up onstage to kiss Jenkins before being chased away by security. Jenkins didn't seem that surprised -- it has no doubt happened before -- and just laughed it off.

The crowd screamed with delight. Third Eye Blind just has that effect on people.

POSTSCRIPT: So how does Derby Lane rate as a concert venue? Not terrible. The stage was set up on the track, with fans relegated to the walkway and grandstand on the other side of the fence. The sound was pretty good, and there was plenty of room for fans to walk around. If they could figure out a way for people to be closer to the band, that would be nice. See a photo of the setup below.

Also, big ups to 97X for inviting local bands One Night Crush, Rude Squad and Stalling Dawn to open. Nice exposure for them.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*


[Last modified: Monday, March 30, 2009 12:00am]


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