Third Eye Blind proves they still rock

David Hutter

Third Eye Blind gave an electrifying performance at the Webster Theatre in Hartford Saturday night to a packed house of twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings. The San Francisco-based alternative rock quartet opened the evening with the upbeat love ballad “Never Let You Go,” as hundreds of fans erupted with raucous shrieking and synchronized jumping. The group then played “Crystal Baller,” “Slow Motion,” and “Deep Inside of You.”

The lead singer, Stephan Jenkins, stepped to the front of the stage about halfway through the performance and thanked the audience for their support of the band since it burst onto the national consciousness in 1997 with the release of its self-titled album that featured the hit singles “How’s it Gonna Be?”, “Jumper,” and “Motorcycle Drive By.”

“I want to let you know I am able to see each and every one of you out there tonight,” the vivacious 42-year-old Jenkins crooned. “I wish I could come out into the audience and give each one of you a big hug.”

The band has been working on its fourth studio album for about two years. The group then played “Summer Town,” an unreleased song slated for release on the upcoming album, as the sea of rock fans swayed in unison with arms outstretched to the stage.

Even with the passage of nearly a decade and the sale of eight million records since Third Eye Blind released its debut album, the band still demonstrated a freshness and bohemianism at the show. Drummer Brad Hargreaves showcased his ample skills by giving a two-minute solo as the stage lights flashed rapidly.

Bassist Arion Salazar jumped around stage all night and guitarist Tony Fredianelli peered deeply into the crowd during their playing. Later, Jenkins again thanked the audience and the quartet walked off stage as the lights dimmed.

The audience began chanting “one more song” and the rock stars re-emerged on stage. Jenkins proclaimed his voice was tired and asked the audience to help him sing. And with that, the tune of “How’s it Gonna Be” filled the air and the crowd danced, jumped and sang.