1. Breaking News

Third Eye Blind's protest set at Republican National Convention, explained by a Third Eye Blind fan

Published Jul. 20, 2016

In Tuesday in Cleveland, late-'90s alt-rock outfit Third Eye Blind played what many are calling a protest concert designed to troll attendees of the Republican National Convention. During the show, they reportedly taunted attendees by promoting LGBT rights, asking fans if they believed in science, and played virtually no hits.

To that I would say: "No hits?" What are you talking about? Jumper, Losing A Whole Year, Crystal Baller and Never Let You Go are all awesome songs!

See, I happen to be a huge Third Eye Blind fan. Read all about it here. And here and here and here. They were the first concert I ever saw, and I've seen them like six more times since. While their first, self-titled album is probably the only one most of you own, I can assure you there are songs on nearly every other album that are just as good as Semi-Charmed Life or Graduate. You haven't lived until you've screamed along to Bonfire, off 2009's Ursa Major.

While the rest of you were scratching your heads over their appearance at this year's Bonnaroo or Stephan Jenkins' cameo during the Chainsmokers' set at Lollapalooza ("We're huge Third Eye Blind fans," the Chainsmokers' Alex Pall told me earlier this year), I was completely unfazed. They write good songs, good hooks and still have a huge base of cult fans, myself included. What's so shocking?

But I do have to admit I never expected them to spend all day trending on Twitter.

It all happened after their Cleveland set, a charity gig at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in support of a group called Musicians On Call. As reported by Pitchfork, the band was booed for their intransigent antics, to which Jenkins replied, "You can boo all you want, but I'm the motherf---ing artist up here." The group even played Non-Dairy Creamer (another great song!), a song that specifically mentions "two gay Republicans."

"Given that the benefit was held in Cleveland, we suspected that convention types might show up and we let it be known we were there to support Musicians on Call and that we in fact repudiate every last stitch of the RNC platform and the grotesque that is their nomineee," the band wrote on Facebook. They added plugs for Black Lives Matter, LGBT equality and the separation of church and state ("still a good idea").

The odd thing is, Jenkans has spoken out before about his unwillingness to play a gig near the Republican National Convention. He was invited to perform at a gig in Tampa in 2012, but according to an op-ed in the Huffington Post, turned it down.

"Though I am happy to play for Republican fans, like my life-long Republican mom, playing the RNC convention is a tacit endorsement of the Republican presidential candidate and his party platform, and this is not my mom's Republican Party anymore," he wrote.

On the other hand, is it really surprising Jenkins trolled the RNC like this? As a longtime fan, it pains me to admit it, but the guy, by many accounts, is kind of a B-hole. His onstage antics occasionally get smug and antagonistic, and it would never surprise me if he didn't play a big hit. But don't take my word for it. Take this guy's. Or this guy's. Or this guy's. The stories seem to be endless.

Many people might be shocked that Third Eye Blind did something bold and arrogant to make a statement, but to me, it just sounds like par-for-the-course Stephan. Enjoy running with that, political Twitter.

I would love to have seen Tuesday's concert in Cleveland. Not because it was historic, or because it sent some sort of political message. But because they played Crystal Baller. Seriously. Check it out. It's great.

-- Jay Cridlin


  1. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    No injuries were reported, according to Pinellas deputies. A tornado may also have passed over Interstate 4 in Polk County.
  2. Yesterday• Hillsborough
    Check for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    University police say a woman fell to her death Friday afternoon from near the top of the 8-story parking facility.
  3. Hillsborough County Superintendent Jeff Eakins, right, and  school board chair Tammy Shamburger speaks on newly raised concerns of a undiscovered cemetery for indigent African Americans that may be within the vicinity of King High School in Tampa on Friday. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Much is unclear at this point, say Hillsborough school officials, who promise to be open and transparent with the community,
  4. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said the man suffered upper body trauma. His death is now being investigated.
  5. Rescue crews work Thursday night at the scene of a fatal wrong-way crash involving on U.S. 301 near Bloomingdale Ridge Drive. The driver of the Acura sedan, Anthony L. Shaw of St. Petersburg, was driving south in the northbound lanes when the crash happened, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    Anthony L. Shaw, 45, was driving an Acura sedan south in the northbound lanes before the crash, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
  6. Pasco County Sheriff's deputies lead three teenagers from a Wesley Chapel Publix store after responding to reports that the boys had been showing off handguns there in a Snapchat video. PASCO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE  |  Pasco County Sheriff's Office
    The three Pinellas boys were apprehended while they were still walking the aisles of the Wesley Chapel store.
  7. Yogi Goswami
    The Molekule Air Mini is a scaled-down version of its original purifier.
  8. Luis Tull, 36, is a suspect in a shooting and carjacking at a Zephyrhills McDonald's on Wednesday night, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said. Pasco County Sheriff's Office
    Luis Tull, 36, was arrested Thursday after stealing three cars and driving at deputies, drawing their fire, the sheriff says.
  9. In this Aug. 7, 2019, photo, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., speaks during a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington.  U.S. Rep. Cummings has died from complications of longtime health challenges, his office said in a statement on Oct. 17, 2019.  (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) PATRICK SEMANSKY  |  AP
    A sharecropper’s son who rose to become the powerful chairman of a U.S. House committee that investigated President Donald Trump, died early Thursday of complications from longstanding health issues.
  10. File photo of the Church of Scientology's Flag building in downtown Clearwater (left) and Mark Bunker, a candidate for Clearwater City Council (right). Mark Bunker
    One side accused the other of acting like a Nazi.