Friday, March 24, 2000

Crowd blind to Third Eye's faults

Enquirer contributor

        About two years ago Third Eye Blind, riding the crest of their successful self-titled debut album, played to a hyper and happy crowd of teens and young adults at the Taft Theatre.

        It was a case of deja vu at its most unkind as the bland alterno-pop hit-makers returned to the place of their past triumph for an 11/2-hour, 20-song show Wednesday night.

        In the fickle climate created by today's radio programmers, many bands of Third Eye Blind's ilk have made an album and then mercifully disappeared. But it seems this group isn't going anywhere soon.

        The show was a balance of material from Third Eye Blind and Blue, the band's latest album. No new song was as catchy as the hits the band performed from the debut, namely “Semi Charmed Life,” “Jumper,” “How's It Going to Be” and “Graduate.”

        So there's something keeping the band in continued favor. More likely, it's a number of things.

        First off, those aforementioned hits have legs, and they were by far the highlights of the show.

        The new stuff, while not as catchy, was infused with the band's distinguishable — if not unique — sound, best defined by lead singer Stephan Jenkins' Spin Doctors-style, scat-like approach to vocals.

        Even more appealing to the audience, at least a faction of it, was Mr. Jenkins himself and his black leather pants. He's a world-class ham for whom the girls in the crowd swooned, and the synergy between his shtick and their squeals spiraled upward as the night went on.

        It didn't seem to matter the act was as derivative and mindless as the band's music. It's hard to say which element of his routine was the dullest: the gratuitous f-bombs; the Axl Rose impersonation; the phony-British-accent utterances; the “Bohemian Rhapsody” bit; the trip up to the private box at stage right, where he sang “Losing a Whole Year.”

        But it all worked with the crowd, just like every last song, including a new one called “An Ode to Maybe” with a central riff indebted to Led Zeppelin's “Dancing Days.”

        Stealing from Zep is something high school bands, and the Stone Temple Pilots, do. Maybe Third Eye Blind has nothing left in the tank, and they dodged the sophomore slump but won't be so lucky the next time out. Then again, maybe all this band needs is for its singer to fit into those pants and swear into the microphone.


City freezes funds to tourism program
Gore does chicken dance
Gore's visit: politics first
Students enjoy the attention
Human rights magazine among elite 'final four'
Mom gets life for killing newborn
Police seek suspect in burglary, rape
Report: Dead girl, 2, had multiple injuries
Students in rape case may return to jail
Truck driver: 'I just couldn't stop'
Coalition aids immigrants
Parental abductions spur action
Passenger pigeon met demise 100 years ago
Police on alert after bomb threat at Fairfield High
Pope's visit to the Holy Land praised here
Census has good start, locals say
Ky. budget divisions erupt
Measure reveals strain between Patton and GOP Senate
Planetarium projects kids into the stars
Decision to adopt grew into a rich family life
Mature Midori gives dazzling performance
May Festival performance to appear on PBS
Pianist keys into a second ambition - conducting
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book
- Crowd blind to Third Eye's faults
6th District Elementary sets example
Actor loses round in hemp battle
Board OKs audit of schools
Crash injures 3; police allege DUI
Emery vies for state funding
Fernald group resists disbanding
'History House' honors legacy
Hospital sued over billings
Indictment brought in attack on boy, 13
Juvenile center worker sentenced on sex charges
Loveland museum pays tribute to late director
Mall's play area: wild and woolly
Montgomery names 3 to council
NAACP wants tests scrapped
Residency rule sought
School goes prehistoric
Sheppard's lover heard
Trenton searches for new manager