This Third Eye Blind article was written by Kieron Keen, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Macon Oxley. Lead photo by rockcity_photography + Footer photo by Daniel Nolan – danhalen66

Fans have been waiting some time for these Californian rockers to grace the UK shores with their presence, and finally they are back in support of their much-delayed latest album release, ‘Dopamine’. The album had continuously seen its release date pushed back due to recording delays and lawsuits with former lead guitarist, Tony Fredianelli, dating back to 2011, but was finally outed to the world on June 16 2015 through Mega Collider records.

It came as no surprise, then, that when the band stepped out on stage, even though still silhouetted behind blue background lights, the response from the crowd was fanatical as the band played the first bars of ‘Persephone’ before bleeding into the first single off the new album, ‘Everything is Easy’ – quite an ironic song title from an album that has clearly been anything but easy to complete.

Though the hollers of appreciation from the crowd were evident, it wasn’t until the band began to play ‘Never Let You Go’, taken from their second album ‘Blue’, that the crowd began to look a little more alive, as they shuffled along to the beat and shouted the chorus in the direction of lead singer, Stephan Jenkins.

It does seem that the older gems in the band’s catalogue are what would be considered fan favourites, as the crowd worked themselves into a slight frenzy when the band began to play ‘Motorcycle Drive By’ – a song from their self-titled debut album from way back in 1997. A song that delves into the depths of loving and losing someone, which seemed to resonate with the crowd as they cried out the lyrics, “I’ve never been so alone and I’ve never been so alive!” Without skipping a beat, they flowed into another debut album gem in ‘Graduate’, which managed to up the energy level to a point where crowd surfing became a sport.

The atmosphere was taken in a completely different direction as Jenkins stood with a lone acoustic guitar, playing the controversial song, ‘Slow Motion’, which was notoriously pulled from the album ‘Blue’ due to record label Elektra feeling the lyrics were a bit too risqué by mentioning a student shooting a teacher so close to the Columbine High School Massacre shooting that occurred the same year. Of course, the crowd loved it anyway. If you tell a crowd they’re listening to forbidden fruit, they will forever lap it up.

As the set winded down, we were treated to a drum solo, and then the band, ready to prematurely depart, broke into arguably the band’s most famous song, ‘Jumper’, which had a revival in 2008 thanks to the efforts of one Jim Carrey. This was the one we all knew, and the crowd sang every single lyric as they hugged and jumped around.

This was not to be the end, of course, as the band came out for a three-song encore, including the delightfully endearing, ‘Self-Charmed Life’. Its “do-do-do-do” catchy chorus makes you feel you can’t help but smile as you sing a long. The set comes to a close with ‘Bonfire’, which sends everyone home feeling a little warmer.

It seems that absence really does make the heart grow fonder. As the band meandered their way through their back catalogue to a crowd that seemed to be falling in love with these songs all over again, there must have been a certain sense of gratification for them in knowing that they not only wrote songs that connected with people throughout different stages of their life, but that even after all this time, they still mean so much.

 Third Eye Blind - Manchester Academy 2 (5th November 2015) - LIVE REVIEW. Footer photo by Daniel Nolan - danhalen66

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