The Collegian
Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Third Eye Blind gives intimate performance in Richmond

Third Eye Blind played a sold-out concert to more than 1,400 people at Toad's Place Monday night with music that spanned a decade, with hits from the '90s and unreleased songs from their next album.

The band's 10-day tour includes shows at venues that are smaller than usual. In an interview before the concert, drummer Brad Hargreaves said he preferred downsized shows.

"We like getting the intimate one-on-one with fans," Hargreaves said. "It feels really good on stage, as well."

Hargreaves, 36, said the band didn't have any pre-show rituals, but the band members just stretch out and try to get in a good mood by telling a few jokes.

The crowd packed the first floor at Toad's Place -- a new concert venue in Richmond that opened in July -- while people watched the show from the second floor balcony for a calmer atmosphere.

The band, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last March, doesn't perform often, Hargreaves said, but the band is working on a new album that it hopes to release next year.

"We're not the most motivated people anymore," he said about recording the new album, but said they especially enjoy playing some new songs at shows. Monday's 20-song set included songs from all three of Third Eye Blind's albums and two new songs. The band's favorite song to play varies, Hargreaves said.

"It depends on what really feels good that night," he said.

After a 30-minute set change following opener Matt White, the smell of incense drifted out into the eager audience, and Third Eye Blind took the stage with "Red Summer Sun," from its second album, "Blue."

They continued with more familiar songs, such as "Crystal Baller," which had fans screaming along. Throughout the concert, they pleased the audience with hits from the late '90s, such as "Never Let You Go," while also including some of their lesser-known songs in the set.

Lead singer Stephan Jenkins, 43, spent the entire show barefoot on the small stage, which was covered in oriental rugs. He jumped around while playing, and at slower points, sat on a speaker and reached out to the audience.

During the middle of the two-hour concert, a couch and keyboard were brought out on stage for an intimate acoustic set. Jenkins played "Deep Inside of You" solo on guitar, and the three other band members returned for two songs, during which Hargreaves played the keyboard and a set of bongos.

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Jenkins told the audience, "Now it's your turn to sing," when the band played "Jumper," from their self-titled debut album, and the voices of the audience dominated the band's.

Mid-song, Jenkins checked in with the packed, sweaty audience as crowd surfers continuously attempted to make their way toward the stage.

"Are we still in this together?" Jenkins asked. "Being good to each other?"

With cheers from the audience, the band then finished the song and closed out the original set with a new song, followed by their first hit "Semi-Charmed Life," which had fans jumping and singing along yet again. Chants to bring the band back out for one more song were answered with a three-song encore, which included another solo acoustic performance by Jenkins.

The entire band returned to play "How's it Going to Be" and "God of Wine," which Jenkins referred to as the group's good luck song for hitting the road later that night. The ground trembled as Jenkins shook his tambourine in the microphone and Hargreaves finished on the drums to end the song. Monday's concert took listeners through Third Eye Blind's three albums, while also giving them a taste of their new music, with all of the intensity that you could have expected 10 years ago.

Hargreaves said the band was now "passing on the torch" to new artists and that it felt good to have others call them their inspiration.

"When we were coming up we had our influences," he said. "It's nice to be that for other artists"

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