2015 ended with a bang on Thursday as Third Eye Blind performed a flawless show at the Valley Forge Casino for their fans. While many fans were disappointed with their treatment by the venue later in the night they were more than satisfied with the killer show that Stephan Jenkins and crew put on for them. One fan told me after the show that they had been to over a dozen shows this year and never seen one that good from the band.
Third Eye Blind had a great year in 2015 as they toured all major markets with Dashboard Confessional and continued to evolve their live show. The New Year’s Eve show sold out very quickly as Philadelphia fans jumped at the chance to start 2016 with their favorite band and they were right to do so even if the venue tried to cheat them out of having a good night in the end.
Third Eye Blind was set to take the stage at 10PM and did so promptly to the roar of an eager crowd who took to their feet the instant the show started. Several announcements were made by the venue earlier in the night that standing, cell phones and other things would not be allowed but the crowd didn’t care one ounce as they were there to have a good time with their favorite band regardless of what the people in suits wanted them to do. There was never a chance that the crowd was going to remain in their seats for this concert and the venue staff as a whole seemed very unorganized and rather amateur. In fact at first glance one would have guessed that this was the first concert they had every held. The space was conventional with tons of obstructed views but the audio was superb so fans could at least enjoy the music if they had a bad angle of the tiny stage.
The band walked out on stage masked behind golden lighting so only their silhouettes could be seen and lead singer Stephan Jenkins took it a step further as he started the night with a wool hat on and his back to the crowd as he belted out the first lyrics of the night. The colors on stage pulsed back in forth from majestic yellow to a powerful sapphire like purple and finally to a blood like crimson red for the majority of the first song as the band got things going quickly, launching right into the second song. The crowd swayed with approval as the night began to pick up speed but when Third Eye Blind kicked into “Never Let You Go” the crowd truly came alive and began singing the song on the top of their lungs as one big group. Solidarity between the band and the fans was a central theme of the night as Jenkins thanked them all for ending the best year they had as a band with them.
Despite the many complaints from fans about the Casino it seemed like everyone was able to put those distractions aside to enjoy the show. The band kept this energy going only stopping for a brief minute to talk once again to the sold out crowd before beginning “Graduate,” a long time favorite of many Third Eye Blind fans that many would say didn’t chart high enough in it’s day.
The show continued on into the night like a bit of roller-coaster and as temperatures began to rise in the packed space fans began to wander into back to the bar to grab a drink or a snack in the middle of the set. However many fans didn’t leave their spots once, the true fans even sung along for every song the band played and not just their radio hits. Third Eye Blind brought out some deep cuts for the crowd as well as a fair dosage of more recent material.
The choice to include brand new music is always a risk but the fans were very receptive to the songs and sang just as loudly as they were for the others. Third Eye Blind has all the kinks in their set ironed out in their live performance and Jenkin’s voice has never been stronger than it is now. Many times he roamed the stage whenever he was free from his guitar/microphone stand and there were moments it looked like he might jump out into the crowd but stopped just short each time.
The night came to a close just before midnight but Third Eye Blind made sure to take the fans on a wild ride of an ending to 2015 as they ran through both “Jumper” and “Semi-Charmed Life” late in their set. As the show ended 2015 was just 30 minutes from ending and Third Eye Blind fans filed out of the basement of venue as they talked about the fantastic show they just witnessed. All of them were grateful that they came out but disappointed that the Casino wanted to charge them more to stay in the building to celebrate the New Year.
As a collective whole many fans made their way out to their cars in the parking lot as they would spend the first moments of 2016 driving home from one of the best concerts to take place in 2015. Not a bad evening in my opinion, if you have ever wanted to see Third Eye Blind I strongly recommend it because they have never sounded better. 2015 was great for them and 2016 might just be the year that they take over the alternative scene again, when it happens you heard it hear first that it was coming.
Exclusive Photo Gallery from Matt Christine Photography