Third Eye Blind charms fans with energetic live performance

By Lisa M. Chmiola

Features Editor

Screaming teenage girls showed up in large numbers at Friday's sold-out Third Eye Blind show at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. They went ballistic the second lead singer Stephan Jenkins took the stage.

At times, Jenkins only had to stand still in his black shirt and jeans and fans would scream their approval.

From the opening strains of "Thanks a Lot" off the band's self-titled debut album, it was apparent Jenkins wouldn't be able to contain the ball of energy inside. He screamed, bounced, sat and stood like a child let loose in a playground after being cooped up all day.

The antics continued into "Narcolepsy," when Jenkins climbed into a large sofa-like chair on risers to start off the tune. But the subdued tone didn't last long, and he was soon egging the audience on again, wrapping a rope around his neck and cracking it like a whip.

Although most songs were performed the way they sound on the album, tempo changes were thrown into the mix on several tracks, and Jenkins proved himself capable of keeping up with the rest of the band.

Jenkins' husky vocals came through on a new song, "Gorgeous," which began with a somber mood and gentler instrumentation. Band members sat among pillows for this and a few other songs to simulate the days when they played coffeehouses.

The band and the audience truly came alive during any of 3EB's popular radio singles. During "Jumper," an inflated naked lady made its way to the

front of the crowd, and she re-appeared during "Semi-Charmed Life." This time the doll was on stage with Jenkins, who proceeded to dance with it.

Considering the extra goodies the band threw in during this song (Jenkins' hip gestures, drum and string solos in the middle and a reggae-like segment that Jenkins rapped to), perhaps this should have been the closing number. But that honor went to "Graduate," during which Jenkins and a roadie enacted a bar trashing on stage.

For the encore, 3EB started with a cover of U2's "I Will Follow." Jenkins prefaced the song by telling the audience, "This is the first song we all learned how to masturbate to."

The encore ended in the band's traditional way, with "God of Wine." During the track, Jenkins poured a bottle of white wine onto the stage and the audience clapped in unison.

Opening for 3EB was Eve 6, a group that has gained popularity with the MTV-friendly hit "Inside Out." The band's sound ranged from hard-rockin' beats to soft, introspective tracks.

In addition to "Inside Out," the band's new single "Leech" was popular with fans. It has the same pulsating rock beat and is sure to get plenty of airplay.

Lead singer Max Collins showed off his vocal talent with a cover of John Denver's "Leaving on a Jet Plane," which has gained a newfound popularity thanks to another cover featured on the Armageddon soundtrack by Chantal Kreviazuk.

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