Third Eye Blind Headlines Ampitheaters Across the US This Summer

Twenty-seven years ago, Third Eye Blind blasted onto the music scene with a self-titled album that went six-times platinum and included the enduring alternative rock hits “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Graduate,” “How’s It Going To Be” and “Jumper.”  A double-platinum second album, “Blue,” followed two years later.

Then the radio hits stopped coming, with 2000’s “Never Let You Go” marking the last top 10 single for the band. So it might seem surprising for Third Eye Blind to still be headlining amphitheaters this summer. 

But Third Eye Blind’s popularity endures. And Stephen Jenkins, Third Eye Blind’s founding member, songwriter and singer, noted that turnout for his band’s concerts is actually bigger than ever. So how does it feel to live in this kind of welcome reality 27 years after the blockbuster self-titled debut album was released? 

“Implausible would be the word probably,” Jenkins said in an early May phone interview. “Really, it just feels like I’m just on this ride, and more than anything else it just reminds me about the basics. It reminds me of the things that I value, which is being musical, being authentic, being in a genuine exchange with the audience. All of those things are the things that remain the most important to me.”

The barrage of top-10 radio hits that launched the band’s career may have dried up after “Never Let You Go” (from “Blue”), but in other ways Third Eye Blind has actually been a resurgent band over the past decade.

That span has seen Jenkins and drummer Brad Hargreaves — the remaining members of the early Third Eye Blind lineup — enjoying a period of stability, with guitarist Kryz Reid, bassist Alex LeCavalier each now in their second decade with the band and keyboardist/guitarist Colin Crev (a member since 2019) rounding out the current lineup.

With this unit, the personalities and the priorities of the band members have aligned in a way that didn’t always happen with the original band.

“This band, just we love each other,” Jenkins said. “We like to be together and we’re like we’re like a bunch of puppies. I think what makes this band jam is our sense of empathy, really, more than anything else with each other. We like to make space for each other on stage and that’s what makes it jam.”

The current band members not only have the right chemistry, with Jenkins leading the way as songwriter, they’ve been quite prolific. After releasing only two albums over the 15 years that followed the release of “Blue” in 1999, Third Eye Blind has been releasing music at a steady clip, with three full-length studio albums — 2015’s “Dopamine,” 2019’s “Screamer” and 2021’s “Our Band Aparte” — and two EPs (2016’s “We Are Drugs” and 2018’s “Thanks For Everything”), plus “Unplugged,” a 2022 album that featured acoustic versions of song from across the group’s catalog, joining the band’s catalog.

Jenkins feels that along the way, his attitude toward songwriting and recording loosened up, and that accounts for the increased musical output of Third Eye Blind.

“I think it’s really just a lack of judgment,” he said. “I think I was always being hard on myself in the past and I probably still am, but something has improved there. Something has gotten better in some ways and I’m less critical of myself and more able to just get into it, to make music. So I think that’s the reason.”

Exactly what songs Third Eye Blind will play on tour this summer is an open question, as Jenkins said the band has plenty of options.

“We have a lot of music and there’s a lot of different stuff that fans want to hear. if you go on Reddit and ask what do you want to hear this summer, if you get 50 different responses, you’ll get 50 different songs,” he said. “So we try to do things like almost like being DJs and we kind of try to mix ourselves as a live band and weave in different things back and forth is kind of the idea. So that’s how I’m looking at making this set. There’s also going to be an acoustic section where we get rid of all the amps and stuff and we play everything with acoustic guitars and (lighter) drums and reimage the songs like that.”

There may also be new tunes available to play, as Jenkins has been busy finishing lyrics and vocals for what could be an EP or album, depending on how things play out and whether Jenkins writes more songs for the project.

“For me it (inspiration) comes when it comes and I don’t know how to do it differently than that,” Jenkins said. “I wish I did. But I do have a new album (happening). I’m about done. And so there’s pressure here at the end. It’s going to definitely help me finish it.”

Third Eye Blind is performing at the Utah First Credit Union Ampitheatre on June 25th, get your tickets here.

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Alan Sculley
Alan Sculley
Alan Sculley has operated his music feature service, Last Word Features, for more than 25 years. His music features and reviews have appeared in more than 100 daily newspapers, alternative weeklies and entertainment publications.

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