Third Eye Blind performed at the Reitz Arena in Baltimore, Maryland, appearing on Saturday, February 21, 1998. 3EB conducted its first headlining tour in support of their 1997 self-titled album, which generated four singles. Their first album notched up impressive sales on the charts, and the Bring The Bay Tour drew responsive crowds.
Third Eye Blind as it toured in 1998 consisted of vocalist Stephan Jenkins (playing occasional guitar), bassist Arion Salazar, drummer Brad Hargreaves, and guitarist Kevin Cadogan (who has since departed 3EB). This San Francisco quartet has an original sound live in concert and a prolific talent omnipresent on their albums. Their stage presence is unmatched by similar young bands.
The enthusiastic audience responded in unison as the band came out to open with "Losing A Whole Year". Featuring solid backing vocals from Cadogan and Salazar on stage, that former single is a song that leads off their first album. Jenkins played guitar on "Thanks A Lot", and remarked that the band, "still remembered Baltimore", from the reception they received on an earlier 1997 visit.
"Jumper" contains the lyric "Put the past away", which was a former tour title. This song showcased exceptional drumming from Hargreaves. "The Background" presented guest performer Adam on cello while Jenkins climbed atop the speaker stacks arousing audience reaction.
Most audience members began swaying and singing as 3EB launched into their second single release, "How's It Going To Be", which spotlighted outstanding vocals from Jenkins. Before performing "Horror Show", Jenkins inquired, "Are you cool with a new song?" This up-tempo song was released as a bonus track on their third single, "Graduate".
Their breakaway hit and first single, "Semi-Charmed Life", really rocked the Reitz Arena on the campus of Loyal College. Jenkins played guitar, recited an impromptu rap during the bridge, and was supported by feminine voices from the floor, harmonizing on the chorus lyric "Goodbye". The overwhelming audience applause during this number confirms the band's talent as composers and performers.
3EB was joined on stage by Smashmouth vocalist Steve Harwell who sang backing vocals on "Graduate", which solicited a loud response from the crowd and leaps from the venue floor. "London" closed the show with Jenkins on guitar again as the band pounded out a fast-paced rendition of the song.
The first encore featured Jenkins appearing alone with an acoustic guitar singing the ballad "I Want You". Jenkins delivered a polished, professional performance, making it one of the highlights of the concert. Next, 3EB turned in a cover version of The Smith's "Please Please Please", which was both short and loud. Their set came to a close with "God Of Wine".
Third Eye Blind had the singular distinction of being a supporting act on the two largest tours of 1997 - by appearing as an opening act for U2 on their Popmart Tour and the Rolling Stones on their Bridges to Babylon Tour. Most bands would kill for that kind of opportunity and after listening to their debut album, one is assured why these monster bands chose them for their musical prowess.
The opening act was Fat, a four-piece unit from the U.K. Smashmouth appeared as the supporting act, a fast-rising five-member band. Third Eye Blind is one group worth catching live in concert. Halfway through the performance Jenkins asked, "Why would you want to follow a band like us?", after recognizing familiar faces that kept turning up at scheduled dates along their tour.
Baltimore setlist: Losing A Whole Year * Thanks A Lot * Jumper * The Background * How's It Going To Be * Horror Show * Semi-Charmed Life * Graduate * London * Encore: I Want You * Please Please Please * God Of Wine
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Bay Tour 1998
Third Eye Blind at Reitz Arena
by Timothy Tilghman