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Jimmy Eat World and Third Eye Blind provided a perfect night for late ’90s rock nostalgia

 By Corrine Watson

July 24, 2019

Third Eye Blind and Jimmy Eat World brought back a sense of late ‘90s nostalgia to PNC Music Pavilion in their Summer Gods tour on Sunday. Despite the sweltering temperatures of the weekend, the light summer breeze and stadium shade created an ideal atmosphere.

The evening opened with the mellow tunes of Ra Ra Riot. The band held their own and managed to demonstrate their musical talent and identity without being overshadowed by the bigger acts. While an older millennial crowd of former alt-rockers might not have been as familiar with their songs, the band set a cool and energetic tone for the night.

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World. Photo: Alex Cason

Jimmy Eat World followed, preparing to play many of your favorite songs from the early 2000s. The band opened strong with “Pain” and the title track of their most notable album, Bleed American. This immediately got the audience out of their seats as the crowd of mostly late 20- and 30-year-olds expressed youthful angst, as they sang along to “Sweetness” and the anthem of youth, “The Middle.”

The band flowed swiftly and seamlessly from song to song, performing in front of an array of moving lights and fog centered around illuminated standing fans that turned sporadically, matching the energy of each song. As they mostly remained stationary, these effects gave the stage movement and kept the attention drawn to the stage.

Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye BlindPhoto: Alex Cason

What really brought Third Eye Blind’s performance together was Stephan Jenkins’ talent for engaging with the crowd. Early in the set, Jenkins said, “Seats may make you feel separate, but we are all one.” Throughout the concert, Jenkins encouraged fans to connect and experience the moment together whether they were lifelong friends or strangers. This gave the event a sense of unity through many sing-along moments from “Jumper,” “How’s it Going to Be” and “Never Let You Go” to final encore, “Semi-Charmed Life.”

Third Eye Blind maintained the crowd’s energy through both the highs and lows of their set as they opened with “Screamer,” with silhouettes on a backdrop of lights, moving like shadows beyond the stage. While the lights and sound created a sensory marvel, the band themselves often seemed to get lost in the shadows. As the set progressed, the band and Jenkins emerged to maintain a powerful stage presence.

While many of our ‘90s favorites end up on the back burner of our playlists, the performances of Jimmy Eat World and Third Eye Blind prove their work is both a classic and cultural staple, yet relevant as they work to create new sounds for a different generation.

Check out the remaining tour dates for Third Eye Blind and Jimmy Eat World.

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