Concert Review: Third Eye Blind @ Echo Beach, Toronto 7/28/11

I was a teen of the nineties.  I came of age as Nirvana rose and Kurt Cobain fell, as Alanis was too hot and Alanis Morissette felt you oughta know about it.  Growing up in Canada, I was Silver and looking Above, Clumsy and Cryin’.

It was a semi-charmed kind of life.

Third Eye Blind’s self-titled debut CD was one of the staples of those years, making itself quite at home in my portable stereo’s 3-disc changer.  It was one of several albums I could blast all the way through, not skipping a single tune, a soundtrack to my nights of homework, endless phone conversations and internet chats.  It accompanied fits of writing fiction and poems scribbled in journals.

It was one of the albums I made sure my toddler sister got to know, because I considered it a classic.

And yet, I never got around to seeing the band live.  Over the years, that particular album of theirs remained a constant in my collection, but I’d forget about the subsequent releases, or forget to see if they still toured.  When I recently noticed a show listed for my city, I was boggled and sheepish for being so.  My wallet denied me my chance.

Enter the free concert series at Ontario Place to set the wrong things right.

It was a night to remember, on so many levels: my friend’s first rock show; my first show at the latest venue, where I discovered that my cigarette smoke allergy could be the death of me as people chainsmoked all around; the first show where I’ve gotten into a full-out fist fight with yet another drunken and drugged male who doesn’t understand that humping women’s asses without permission is disgusting, and continuing to touch them when called out isn’t helping matters.  But there was also music, perfectly executed, with passion and undisputed talent.  There was Stephan Jenkins, holding his ribs in agony and still giving everything he had, even as he confessed that he wasn’t like most rock stars – he was incapable of performing on drugs, and thus suffered on, his mind drifting to the Vicodin waiting off stage when the show was over.  There was a crowd of fans ranging from tweens to forty-somethings, all united in their love of a great band.

Those who call it “just music” are to be pitied, for they have never experienced that energy a good show brings.  This was one of those shows.  Why this band isn’t still at the forefront of the charts, I will never understand.

Highlights?  So many…. Motorcycle Drive By, Jumper, 1000 Julys, Slow Motion, Wounded, Monotov’s (the alternate version reigns supreme) and my forever favourite, God of Wine.

Setlist:  Third Eye Blind @ Echo Beach, Toronto 7/28/11

Motorcycle Drive By
Losing a Whole Year
Can You Take Me
1000 Julys
Never Let You Go
Slow Motion
Crystal Baller
Monotov’s Private Opera

Water Landing
Semi-Charmed Life
God of Wine

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