There is no doubt that the mixture of an established band such as Third Eye Blind combined with a brand new stage set up at Mount Airy Casino was bound to produce some incredible results. The show is among the first this summer in the new covered outdoor set up and the setting sun peaked as it set across the rolling mountain vistas that flaked the venue from all sides as the band took the stage promptly at 8PM. Being early summer it wasn’t too hot but it wasn’t cold either as the packed venue of about 2,000 fans rose from their seats and rushed the stage as Third Eye Blind kicked the night off strong with a powerful performance of “Graduate.”
Lead singer Stephan Jenkins was fresh off a bout of bronchitis as he later told the crowd but his voice showed no signs of strain from the first song to the last of the night – in fact the recovery from the infection might have actually made his vocally delivery stronger as he had a slight rasp that gave many of the songs performed an incredible live sound to them. Each show with Third Eye Blind is a journey as any of their fans can attest to as the band has reached a point in their career where they rarely deliver anything near a bad show; in fact their Governor’s Ball set from the week prior as Jenkins was fighting bronchitis was still remarkably good.
The set was full of iconic moments in the band’s ever expanding legacy from the quick start of the night with “Graduate” to “Never Let You Go” making an early appearance and a touching dedication of “Jumper” to the late Anthony Bourdain. Jenkins remains one of the best front-men of a generation even today as he commands the stage with his performance but the pacing of the night allows him to also share it with the rest of the incredible talent on the stage. Kryz Reid and Alex LeCavalier were given plenty of time in the spotlight on the front line of the stage along Jenkins and Brad Hargreaves on drums and Alex Kopp on more instruments than can be listed also shared the spotlight on the back line.
By the middle of the set the energy had shifted from a performance that was moving through the setlist to one that was truly connected with the vibe of the crowd as Jenkins shouted out to have the crowd cheer for which song should be played next as the script was tossed out. A cover of “Fuck Forever” towards the end of the set unleashed chaos in the crowd as they rushed from their seats not to return and get as close to the stage as possible. The band remained on stage for 2 more songs in the main set was the heavy hitters “Dopamine” and “Semi-Charmed Life” wrapped up the main set before the encore performance of “How’s It Going to Be.”
Across 16 songs and 90 minutes Third Eye Blind delivered a set that may have been their best in the area in the past decade – a remarkable footnote for a show that was meant to be a warm up for a bigger gig the next day. Sometimes it takes a new venue, a new crowd and a new situation to create the perfect storm for a show that 2,000 fans will never forget. Third Eye Blind has remained a touring name stay over the past few years and they have no signs of slowing down with a new album being worked on now according to the band.