Third Eye Blind Brings ’90s Nostalgia To The Joint

Photo by Erik Kabik

It’s always a surprise to find that there are so many Third Eye Blind fans out there.

It was a surprise last fall when thousands packed the main stage at Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival, and it was a surprise Saturday night when fans packed The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The band was playing the penultimate show of their 2017 Summer Gods Tour, celebrating the 20th anniversary of its self-titled debut album.

Las Vegas has been visited by many ’90s-era bands this summer, but Third Eye Blind doesn’t feel like a group that’s trapped in a particular era. Despite the “doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo” catchiness of the band’s big hit, “Semi-Charmed Life,” they weren’t a one-hit wonder, and have been churning out memorable tracks for two decades.

Fans at The Joint heard a few of those songs in the opening minutes, as the band started the show with a few recent hits, including “Company of Strangers” and “Shipboard Cook.” Addressing the audience while strumming an acoustic guitar, singer Stephan Jenkins remarked that the band’s performances on this Summer Gods Tour were “the best we’ve ever played,” and, warming up the crowd, announced that they were about to begin playing Third Eye Blind in its entirety. 

 Photos by Erik Kabik,

“I remember you and me used to spend the whole goddamn day in bed.”

Just being able to scream the opening words to “Losing a Whole Year” out loud, in unison with a crowd that knew every lyric from Third Eye Blind’s opening single, felt like some kind of cathartic release. It has to be the reason why the band started the show with some warm-up tracks—they wanted to build toward something, and hearing that song live was worth the wait.

It’s almost a shame that “Semi-Charmed Life” is the third track on that album. It’s the ultimate closer song for a band that’s been around for 20 years. But on Saturday night, the group’s biggest hit came early, with fans singing along every word. After “Jumper,” “Graduate,” and “How’s It Gonna Be,” I started counting on my fingers how many tracks were left on that first album. The band’s pledge to play it front-to-back might have taken away some of the suspense, but it removed any chance of being disappointed.

And Third Eye Blind didn’t let the crowd down. Jenkins and crew stayed on course before tweaking the show just a bit in the encore. After wrapping with “Motorcycle Drive By” and exiting briefly to a still-screaming crowd, the group returned and began the encore with 2000’s “Never Let You Go,” the biggest hit from their second album, Blue.

As they closed with “God of Wine,” the last track on that first album, I remembered what Jenkins had told the crowd almost 90 minutes earlier.

“We’re all in this together,” he said.

This crowd would have stayed to hear another Third Eye Blind album front-to-back—or all of them.


 Photos by Erik Kabik,

Set list

“Company of Strangers”
“Horror Show”
“Queen of Daydreams
“Shipboard Cook
“Losing a Whole Year”
“Semi-Charmed Life”
“How’s It Going To Be”
“Thanks a Lot”
“Burning Man”
“Good For You”
“I Want You”
“The Background”
“Motorcycle Drive By”


“Never Let You Go”
“God of Wine”