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Concert Reviews:
Third Eye Blind celebrates debut album at DTE

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

Posted: Sunday, July 9, 2017

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INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP -- Nineties nostalgia ruled on Friday night, June 7, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre -- without necessarily sounding like a pure time warp.

Third Eye Blind is on the road this summer celebrating the 20th anniversary of its self-titled album, a six-times platinum smash that was one of that decade’s most successful debuts. Played front to back, it provided the bulk of the hour-and-40-minute set -- 14 of 21 songs -- but the exposition showed that the years have been kind to a release that at the time was a model of contemporary rock.

“The reason why we’re here is because our music has been kept alive,” frontman Stephan Jenkins -- the sole remaining original member still with 3EB -- told the DTE crowd before the album recital began. “We have nothing to do with that. That is solely and completely because of you guys.”

Jenkins and company were clever about how they delved into the album, too. 3EB transitioned with the appropriate final verse of “Shipboard Cook” from its 2015 album “Dopamine” (“Line ‘em up boys, here’s to your youth”), the last of six songs from other 3EB albums that started the show. Playing on a two-level stage and below a lavish light rig featuring an “eye” shaped central piece, the quintet ably delivered its shining career moment over the next hour or so, with Jenkins discreetly backing off from the high notes -- letting either the audience, which filled about half the venue on Friday, or keyboardist Alex Kopp cover them for him.

And rest assured the fans knew all the words -- not just from hits such as “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Jumper” and “How’s It Going To Be” but also to the deeper cuts. The show, in fact, allowed less-celebrated material such as “Narcolepsy,” the hard-rocking “London” and the dynamic “The Background” to reclaim some stature in 3EB’s catalog, all still sounding fresh and relevant two decades down the line.

3EB left the stage after the penultimate “Motorcycle Drive By,” slipping the 1999 hit “Never Let You Go” in before finishing the night with the debut album’s closing track, “God Of Wine.” Jenkins -- whose three tops on Friday included a black jacket with electric blue-light trimming, a long-sleeved white jersey and a black T-shirt -- promised the crowd that 3EB will “never” play the album in its entirety again; We’ll see what happens in five more years, but if that proves to be true the group managed to both feed some memories and celebrate a work that hasn’t at all suffered with age.

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