July 13, 2015 Third Eye Blind & Dashboard Confessional bring excitement to Jones Beach, NY 6-14-15
The Summer season is often the most exciting time for concert tours. The weather is hot, schools are closed, and everyone is looking for fun outdoor events to indulge in. Among the plethora of tours circling around the North America region through the raising temperatures is the Alternative Rock teaming of Third Eye Blind and Dashboard Confessional. Unique to one another, they are considered two of the leaders in Alternative Rock, and while a decade ago a combined bill may have been an unlikely dream, now it has become a reality. Kicking the festivities off at the end of May in the Midwest, the tour found its way to Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on Sunday June 14th where it was greeted by fans arriving early to the parking lot to bask in a pre-party before the night of music.
As direct support for evening, New Zealand’s No Wyld got the energy flowing early on. Signed to Columbia Records, the band is comprised as a trio with Vocalist Mo Kheir, Vocalist/Keyboardist Brandon Black, and Guitarist Joe Pascoe. Initially called The Wyld upon forming back in 2010, the band’s sound can best be described as a fusion of Hip Hop, Rock, with a bit of Reggae undertone. Approaching the stage, dressed in black from head to toe, the band immediately grabbed the attention of the audience as they made their way to their seats. Singing tracks off their 2014 EP entitled Abstract, their Rock vibe meshed with quick, Rap lyrics was held together by playful, yet deep melodies. With catchy repetitive beats, the three-piece took on the challenge of opening the show, and were rewarded with many clapping, dancing, and even some spat out the words to the tracks. Closing out their set with the single “Odyssey,” which was in fact featured in a McDonald’s commercial, No Wyld did a fantastic job, and most of all, enjoyed themselves thoroughly. Only supporting Dashboard Confessional and Third Eye Blind for select dates, those who saw No Wyld will most certainly want to look into more of their music.
With plenty of daylight left, as a cool breeze blew off the bay behind the stage, Dashboard Confessional were ready to go. Lead by Singer-Songwriter Chris Carrabba, the band formed back in 1999 down in Florida, initially as a solo endeavor. Quickly striking the interest of listeners with an acoustic based sound, heartfelt lyrical content, as well as an unmistakable voice, Carrabba’s 20001 sophomore Dashboard Confessional album, The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most, peaked at 5 on US Rock Indie charts and attained certified gold status. Considered the break into the mainstream for the talented lyricist, Dashboard Confessional went on to release four more studio records, including their last in 2009 entitled Alter the Ending. Taking a break from Dashboard Confessional, Carrabba delved into a new project by the name of Twin Forks in 2011, and 2014 saw the band opening for the likes of The Script. Now five years after the hiatus of Dashboard Confessional, they return to the delight of fans with the classic lineup of Carrabba, Bassist Scott Schoenbeck, Drummer Mike Marsh, and Guitarist/Pianist/Vocalist John Lefler. Having a history at Jones Beach that dates back to 2002’s Enlightenment Tour with Weezer and Sparta, anticipation was high for the return of Dashboard Confessional in the moments prior to performance.
As Carrabba walked onto the stage, a wave of screams came crashing down on he and the band before they even began. Humbled by the reaction, Carabba waited a moment for the noise to die down and said, “I want to sing a little song for you,” and with that, began strumming the chords to big hit “Screaming Infidelities.” A track which catapulted the band into stardom, it was a surprising way to open the set, but welcomed as they went into other tracks off The Places You Have Come to Fear Most including “Again I Go Unnoticed,” “The Good Fight,” and the album title track. Feeding the crowd’s excitement with his still affectionate voice, and raising his guitar to the sky during key notes, everyone sang along any chance they were given.
Changing the pace a bit, Carrabba walked over to the piano and began “So Long, So Long” before another acoustic guitar track in “Remember to Breathe.” The mellow, yet emotional vibes quickly took a turn for a more upbeat sound when the band broke into Twin Forks’ song “Back to You.” Different than songs written for Dashboard Confessional, fans dug the variation and bopped their heads to the irresistible beat held together by Carrabba’s cousin Shawn who came onto the stage to assist in performing the song. It was the perfect way to launch into “Saints and Sailors” where everyone was jumping up and down; singing along yet again. All smiles from the front row to the upper mezzanine, Dashboard Confessional were overwhelmed by the positive reception and non-stop energy that, in return, clearly inspired their performance.
Taking it back to the beginning with 2000’s “The Sharp Hint of New Tears,” the strumming of guitar and Carrabba’s singing resonated through the Summer air and continued through “Don’t Wait,” “The Best Deceptions,” as well as “Stolen.” Bouncing throughout their discography with heavy emphasis on 2006’s Dusk and Summer, as well as the aforementioned The Places You Have Come to Fear Most, 2004’s Spider-Man 2 theme song “Vindicated” came before the finale of “Hands Down.” With hints of new music a strong possibility, unforgettable live shows such as theses, and clamoring fan-base, it is safe to say Dashboard Confessional’s return is one welcomed with open arms.
As the night fully cast over Jones Beach, everyone was in their seats and the theater was packed to near capacity. Also having a full history with the venue, many Long Islanders remember the amazing show held fifteen years earlier when Third Eye Blind performed with the likes of Vertical Horizon and Splender, or perhaps have fond memories of their show in 2002 with Goo Goo Dolls. Whatever it maybe, this band is known to bring a party-like atmosphere to the stage that screams Summertime. Coming together back in 1993, Vocalist Stephan Jenkins has held the band together since with a charismatic and enthusiastic presence. Breaking it big in 1997 with their debut self-titled album which has since gone six-times platinum, 1999’s Blue spawned even more top radio hits. Releasing two albums since then, 2003’s Out of the Vein and 2009’s Ursa Major, 2015 sees Third Eye Blind return with a new full-length album entitled Dopamine. Topping charts once again, it seems their fans’ memory has not faded of what the band brings, and that is exactly why they are filling out amphitheaters like Nikon at Jones Beach Theater.
As the lights cut, all that could be seen was flashing strobes and fog outlining a silhouette of Jenkins on the stage as well as longtime Drummer Brad Hargreaves on a riser in the backdrop during the guitar intro of “Faster.” Joined by a relatively new lineup as a part of the Third Eye Blind family, Lead Guitarist Kryz Reid, Keyboardist Alex Kopp, and Bassist Alex LeCavalier filled out the platform as roar of cheers erupted for opening, “Graduate.” Having everyone on their feet, they went into a slew of upbeat tunes like 2008’s “Non Dairy Creamer,” 1999’s “Wounded,” 2003’s “Crystal Baller,” and 2009’s “Bonfire.” Having already offered a nice balance of tracks from all their albums, big hit “Never Let You Go” had the whole theater singing along to the chorus, loud and clear. Taking control of the moment, Jenkins had everyone’s hands in the air, enticing them to cheer while Hargreaves provided some killer drum fills. Telling the audience the show was in fact a last minute addition because the New York City date sold out, Jenkins admitted they had reservations about playing Jones Beach again because they thought no one would show up. With a big smile, he said he was wrong and thanked everyone graciously before going back into the song.
Marking as somewhat of a midway point in the evening, the adrenaline was through the roof and gave Third Eye Blind the chance to showcase brand new tracks like “Everything Is Easy” and “Say It.” Still possessing the same quality song composition of older material, the songs were received very well by all. Sprinkling in their own rendition of Beyonce’s “Mine,” as well as the beautiful songs like “Motorcycle Drive By” and “Slow Motion,” Jenkins took the spotlight with himself and acoustic guitar as everyone attentively listened to him pour his heart out. It was a fitting segue into another major hit,”How’s It Going to Be” as fans filled in, singing along their favorite lines in the song. Kicking in with the full band halfway into the song, Hargreaves took off into a blistering drum solo as lights glimmered off his kit.
Giving Jones Beach yet another new song titled “Rites of Passage,” the catchy hook had everyone still on their feet as Jenkins moved about the stage engaging with his bandmates prior to Reid taking off into a sharp guitar solo. Interestingly mixing in U2’s “With or Without You” toward the end of the song, the set was closed out with fan-favorite “Jumper.” As voices of the audience overtook the air, it was clear everyone knew every single word to the song. At the height of all, it seemed the show was all but over, although moments later the band returned for a two song encore begun with another newbie entitled “Something In You” before everyone let loose for the one that started it all, “Semi-Charmed Life.”
Prior to the tour, Jenkins stated, “I love the unbridled enthusiasm of a Summer tour, all that crowd energy and the heat frees us up. That’s why Summer is so exciting. We haven’t been out for a year so we’re most excited to see you all.” That feeling was recently reciprocated and the return to Jones Beach was more than a nostalgic trip down memory lane, but a chance for Third Eye Blind to reconnect with their mass of fans. With the tour winding down on July 26th, fans of all ages need to get out there and see what they are missing before it is too late.