A 90s Dream With Third Eye Blind, Jimmy Eat World and Ra Ra Riot

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By Alma Reed

Written by Felicia Carter  

Summer 2019 has came and brought us the sweetest gift ever known - pushing 90s pop bands to tour together, uniting crowds across the United States. There’s no question that when a 90s song comes on while you are shopping or joining your friends for drinks, you cannot help to sing along. Now imagine being in a crowd of people who knows every word that you do and you create a beautiful masterpiece that could be broadcast on the radio. It’s a pretty dynamite experience and that is exactly what happened in Nashville for Third Eye Blind’s Summer Gods tour with Jimmy Eat World and Ra Ra Riot.  

Ra Ra Riot took the stage to kick off the night. A few of the attendees seemed very excited and knew every word, but most people simply swayed to the music. This band can be compared to Vampire Weekend - very dreamy tunes, with choppy vocals, which is the perfect combination. It was an excellent beginning to what was to come and they warmed the crowd very nicely in anticipation for the next performance.  

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Jimmy Eat World entered and lead vocalist Jim Adkins gave a very exaggerated, “Howdy, y’all!” and immediately played a crowd favourite. They began with “Pain” and everyone in the pit was bouncing off each other, screaming every word.

The energy that they brought for the crowd was incredible! The stage was set up almost like a warehouse, with large industrial fans lining the wall behind them that seemed to dance with the music. Every song they played awakened something mutual within the crowd, which made the show very enjoyable, even if you aren’t a huge Jimmy Eat World fan. Their edgy guitar riffs and dark lyrics brings the angst out of any functional adult and takes you right back to your bedroom where you would have listened to them as a teenager.  

They ended the night with “The Middle” and as one could imagine, the crowd went nuts!  

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Lastly, we ended the night with headliner Third Eye Blind. In true Third Eye Blind fashion, their show began very ominous - this time, the band hidden behind a large curtain on a dark stage. Once they started playing Screamer, you could only see their silhouettes, and of course, Frontman Stephen Jenkins in his hooded sweatshirt. (Photographers, if you’re going to shoot this show this summer, be aware that their first three songs are dimly lit, so ensure you go prepared!)

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When the music kicked in, the curtain dropped, and the crowd cheered. They were surrounded by fog and dim lights, adding to their ominous aesthetic. Jenkins made his way from the back platform to the front of the stage to find his people. He has a way of connecting with his fans that makes it seem like he knows exactly who he is talking to, as if they are his close friends. He knows who is in the crowd and he is there to give the fans what they want.

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As soon as Screamer ended, they immediately started playing, Never Let You Go. This is the song that you will hear in stores, movies, commercials, and pretty much anywhere else that you can’t help but hum and sing along to. Every person was losing themselves as they sang along with those around them.  

They played through their set list and the stage grew dark. Jenkins grew serious and let the crowd know that there would be people on stage with him because they are making a documentary about the next song they played. He said it was a song they usually do not play, and then began Motorcycle Drive-by. This is an incredibly emotional song, and it could be seen in the faces of those in the crowd. As each face in the pit appeared on the big screen, the emotion was showing very evidently. There were fans crying, dancing, closing their eyes, and really allowing themselves to feel the music and the lyrics. It was a very beautiful, unifying experience.  

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They ended the night with “Losing a Whole Year”, which is a beautiful song about the ups and downs of a relationship. Even though the song was released in 1998, it is still very relevant to this day. The lyrics are incredibly deep and talk of a changing relationship. This is why the crowds at Third Eye Blind shows are usually of all ages; their lyrics and music are timeless.  

The Summer Gods tour is a must see. Each band lights up the stage and promises a good night, filled with positivity. It is appropriate for all ages and the music will speak for itself. Try and catch a show before summer ends because this was an unforgettable show!