Anyone with a fond nostalgia for 90s music will recognize this name. Third Eye Blind will be returning to NOLA on June 13 to play a set at Champions Square. Third Eye Blind first made a name for themselves through their hit singles “Semi-Charmed Life” and “How It’s Going to Be.” These singles from their self-titled debut album helped skyrocket the band to mainstream success. Known for their post-grunge vibes, Third Eye Blind transcended other bands by fusing that sound with poppier hooks and clever songwriting. The end result was three top 10 hits that quickly established the group as emblematic of great 90s grunge.
What followed such an explosive debut was a series of evolving sounds, innovations, and chart successes. Blue, the group’s sophomore effort, was praised for its shift from a pop-like style to a more stylistically intact one. Blue was intended to carry an edgier and harder rock sound, while also weaving in more complex lyrics and themes covering abortion to glorification of violence. The innovation paid off because Blue became the group’s second platinum album.
Since the one-two punch of Third Eye Blind and Blue, the group has steadily released record after record experimenting with more abrasive and political song lyrics. Their sound has evolved to become a touch on more shoegaze, electronica, and acoustic sounds.
Their latest combo of Dopamine and We Are Drugs (an EP accompanying Dopamine) really brought the band up to speed with contemporary rock music. Forgoing the mosh-pit sounds of earlier records, the band’s lyricist, Stephan Jenkins, took the time to craft authentic tracks that still hit the mark in terms of pop earworms without giving up the more profound lyricism. “Get Me Out of Here” hits on Jenkins's stage anxiety so perfectly that it becomes an achingly emotional tribute to the band’s legacy.
We Are Drugs shows off the band’s most politically-charged self. “Cop vs. Phone Girl” is another in a long list of singles that show off the band’s strongly left disposition—commenting on the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement. Around that track, though, are a series of moody, post-grunge anthems that continue to exhibit Jenkins’s talent as a profound songwriter with an ear for good songwriting hooks. The tracks are as eclectically diverse as ever, with sounds ranging from electronica to arena rock.
Third Eye Blind’s legacy is a testament to the band’s talent. Though they’ve gone through quite a few lineup changes, including adding new musicians, Jenkins’s songwriting has always been able to tie together their sound well. This allowed them to seamlessly go from being the forerunners of the post-grunge movement and playing up a pop-punk sound to utilizing more genre-pure sounds like arena rock. Anyone even remotely attuned to the 90s should find the time to go relive some nostalgia with Third Eye Blind. But, additionally, find the time to catch up with some of the band’s latest releases, which fuse their older sounds with some compelling twists.
Third Eye Blind performs at Champions Square on Tuesday, June 13, at 7 p.m. For tickets, go to livenation.com.