By midnight Saturday festivalgoers were getting antsy awaiting Third Eye Blind's set. Their first-ever performance at South By Southwest, 3eb didn't disappoint. Taking the stage to screams around 1 a.m. the band debuted eight tracks off their upcoming release, Ursa Major, due out this summer.
After nearly two-minutes of instrumental, Stephan Jenkins took the stage at Stubb's exuding energy. Jumping and dancing around throughout his 15-song set, often teetering close to the edge of the stage, Jenkins threw roses into the crowd while singing first single off the album, "Non-Dairy Creamer." Not an entirely unexpected track, diehard fans sung along word for word. However, this wasn't the case with most of 3eb's set.
In fact, at points the crowd was almost silent bobbing their heads along to the heavy bass and percussion beats to new and unfamiliar songs. Though, from the look of the crowd around me, most were impressed with the new tracks. Known for his quirky onstage banter with the audience and unique lyrics, frontman Jenkins still has staying power after all these years.
Before introducing the audience to the new tunes, Jenkins told the crowd, "We have in fact finished our fourth album," to which screams erupted throughout the venue. Some new songs included "Bonfire," ballad "One in Ten," a song Jenkins played solo and said is about a recent crush he had on a girl who was a lesbian, and "Why Can't You Be." While the new music isn't a huge stray from what 3eb fan's are used to, it definitely is more rock heavy than earlier albums.
The energy at Stubb's was undeniable and when old hits like "Jumper" and "Never Let You Go" were played everyone was singing along. "We never got to play South By Southwest before," Jenkins told the crowd. He seemed almost surprised at the turnout and positive reception of the new tracks off the unreleased album, which he told festivalgoers will be out sometime this summer. "To have you all put out your hearts and energy tonight is not lost on us and we are thankful."
While many of the tracks are more politically influenced than showcased on previous albums, slower songs like "About To Break" sound refreshingly familiar. Last full-band song of the night was crowd favorite, "Crystal Baller" before the band ended the show with an acoustic sing-along.
Whether Third Eye Blind was playing their older hits or new tunes from their upcoming release, one thing is certain — their fan base is bigger than ever and they had the crowd screaming for more well after their 70-minute set was over.
For more info. on their album release and to listen to new tracks be sure to visit Third Eye Blind on MySpace and their official Web site here.