by Chloe Catajan
For Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins, summer calls for exhilarating times. It's the season of sun-soaked adventures and blasting music that makes you feel on top of the world. That invincible feeling is what Jenkins and his bandmates hope to capture on their 2019 Summer Gods Tour.
Third Eye Blind and co-headliner Jimmy Eat World launched the 35-date tour last weekend in California. They played Third Eye Blind's home turf of San Francisco on the second night.
Jenkins was beaming from the start, excited to perform at the historic Bill Graham Civic Center for the second time ever—the first time taking place in 1996 to open for Oasis. He showed much love to the venue promoters for supporting the band since its early years, and of course, to the crowd as well.
“I hear you, San Francisco! It's only the second night of tour, so the setlist is still fluid," Jenkins said in response to fans requesting “Crystal Baller."
The group cranked out the 2003 Out of the Vein cut, plus a lot of other classics from their catalog. While “Never Let You Go" and “Graduate" thrilled the crowd early in the setlist, “Motorcycle Drive By" from the 1997 self-titled moved everyone on a noticeably different level. The packed room collectively reveled in the song's soft start, but the moment of stillness instantly transformed into a multisensory rush at the crescendo. The band's uptopic stage production went just as wild. If Third Eye Blind hadn't already lived up to that summertime bliss, they definitely did here.
Third Eye Blind also played an untitled song from their forthcoming record and capped the evening with “Semi-Charmed Life" and “God of Wine."
Jimmy Eat World dove straight into their set with “Pain," the invigorating single from 2004's Futures. They followed with the same album's title track—its refrain, “Say hello to good times," an apt introduction to their performance.
The Mesa, Arizona band had a turbulent force of their own, burning through feelings of turmoil, heartache, and wide-eyed optimism with every song. Jim Adkins' soaring vocals were on point, as he and bandmates Tom Linton, Mitch Porter, and Zach Lind packed punches with their instrumentation. Their blend of emo, alt-rock, and power pop proved so compelling that a mosh pit broke out during “Sweetness," catching some of the audience and venue staff off guard.
“Have you guys ever moshed to a calm song?" Adkins asked after checking on the audience. After receiving some affirmative cheers, he recounted the time one crowd moshed to “Hear You Me," admittedly confused by it. Fortunately this time around, the emotional cut was met by fans holding up their phone lights and lighters a la concert tradition.
Jimmy Eat World closed their set with “A Praise Chorus" and “The Middle," two timeless cuts whose coming-of-age comfort evidently resonated with the crowd.
Opening every Summer Gods show is Ra Ra Riot, setting the mood perfectly through their buoyant indie rock. The New York quintet delivered lush, feel-good melodies elevated by Wes Miles's falsetto. Choruses for songs like “I Need Your Light" and “Flowers" were anthemic, fired up by hearty basslines, propulsive drums, and colorful violin licks.
(Photos: Chloe Catajan)