Tuesday, July 9, 2024
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Third Eye Blind and Yellowcard Brought High Energy on a Sticky St. Louis Evening

Third Eye Blind performing Saturday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

–by Randy Thompson

–photos by Carrie Ogle

 

Alt rockers Third Eye Blind hit the road for the 2024 Summer Gods Tour, and midway through made a stop at The Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis Saturday.

We came to the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater for Saturday’s concert not sure what we were about to experience. We hadn’t seen any of that evening’s bands live before, but what we got was a hard rocking blast of energy that went uninterrupted for almost 5 and 1/2 hours. Despite it being a sticky, sultry evening, the bands came out fully energized and ready to rock us all night long.

ARIZONA performing Saturday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

The first band on stage tonight came out to a simple setup. ARIZONA is a band out of New Jersey. But they’ve been on the scene for a while, and this tour has been an opportunity for them to show their skills, energy, and their strong desire to rock and roll with the best of them.  ARIZONA was solid with its presentation of strong pop rock melodies. They set the bar high in the beginning with excellent guitar riffs a la Nathan Esquite and David Labuguen, also on keys, and lead singer, Zachary Charles, who never missed a note. This band was the perfect choice to start off the evening, and they shared their pleasure at being offered an opportunity to play with bands that they looked up to for years.

Yellowcard performing Saturday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

After ARIZONA left the stage, the lights went down and out came the hard rocking band, Yellowcard. The audience leapt to their feet at the first notes of “Lights and Sounds” and remained there. This band exudes a pulsing energy, and exemplary musicianship while getting straight into our faces with sharp edged punk riffs and hard-hitting electric guitar jams with songs like “Cut Me, Mick” and “Southern Air”. The power of this band didn’t let up throughout the entire set.

Yellowcard performing Saturday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

They would transition from one hard hitting, foot stomping, crowd-pleasing, jam to another. The energy was palpable, and most of the fans around us were singing along word for word with every song. They would drop a ballad like “Lift A Sail” or “Keeper”, that would quickly transition into a hard-edged blast of punk rock that grabbed us by the throat and shook us around, and we loved it.

Yellowcard performing Saturday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

The lead singer, William Ryan Key, held his own, singing perfectly and with strident energy, and the band harmonized beautifully even on their hardest edged songs.  The guitarists, Key and Ryan Mendez, were shredding throughout the show, while bassist Josh Portman and violinist Sean Macking kept pace. Drummer, Jimmy Brunkvist, set a beat that established the music at a frenetic level.

Yellowcard performing Saturday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

Near the end of the set they played the song “Childhood Eyes”, the title track off their latest EP, to great audience response. It was obvious that most of their fans had heard their newest material and were continuing to follow Yellowcard’s output. Key discussed how they were afraid at one point that during their breakup there was the possibility that the band would never get back together.

Yellowcard performing Saturday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

Yet, they’ve had successful tours over the last 2 years that have allowed them to regain their sense of unity as a band and a hope that they can keep presenting their powerful music for years to come. They were thankful to be playing with ARIZONA, and especially to be along for the ride with a band that has influenced their musical style, Third Eye Blind.  They finished their set with their hit, “Ocean Avenue”, leaving the crowd wanting more and eager for Third Eye Blind to take the reins.

Third Eye Blind performing Saturday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

Then the stage went dark, there was dramatic keyboard music filling the air and a single figure standing as a silhouette at the top of the stage. During this dramatic pause, the band assembled up on the risers around the drummer. The opening song was the solid rocking “Motorcycle Drive By”, which immediately got the fans up on their feet, and set a tone of unrelenting energy driven, punk rock influenced, music that covered Third Eye Blind’s long history.

Third Eye Blind performing Saturday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

I was perplexed at what the second song could be. While they played “Dust Storm”, there were ebbs and flows of familiar hooks that rolled into their interpretation of “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure. It was an amazing, and wonderful surprise to give us. The band continued to hit us hard with one razor edged, punk laced tune after another, throwing their catalog at us with high energy guitar and persistent power. The audience packed the Pavilion and remained standing for the entire set. They were pumping fists, singing along, as the band encouraged several times, while they rolled into some of their biggest hits like “Never Let You Go” and “Company of Strangers”.

Third Eye Blind performing Saturday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

The audience responded with joy at the opportunity. And this, apparently, turned out to be the theme of the tour for the band. “We’re here to communicate joy!” lead singer Stephan Jenkins said, going on to share that the group was working on a new album, but they were struggling with the lyrics. This had the band concerned as they started this tour but the energy they received back from the crowds, and the pure joy that was filling every venue, kept them focused on moving forward which has made this a completely gratifying tour for them.

Third Eye Blind performing Saturday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

Third Eye Blind (Vocalist Stephan Jenkins, guitarist Kryz Reid, bassist Alex LeCavalier, drummer Brad Hargreaves and keyboardist/mandolin Colin Creev) then dropped into an acoustic set composed of “The Background”, “Palm Reader” and “Blinded” as they sat together on the stage. They finished the set with three of their biggest hits: “Jumper”, “Semi-Charmed Life” and “How’s It Going to Be” as the encore.

Third Eye Blind performing Saturday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

We’ve been to a lot of concerts, but this is undoubtedly one of the most non-stop, high-energy performances that we’ve seen.  No one left disappointed, not even the guy behind us that wanted to hear “Crystal Baller”.  Even he left exhausted and satisfied, exalting with 90’s music and the joy of a stellar concert.

Be sure to check out the compete gallery of photos after the setlists below.

 

ARIZONA Setlist:

Cross My Mind

Summer Days/Where I Wanna Be

What She Wants

Find Someone

Dark Skies

I Was Wrong

Oceans Away

Nostalgic

Annie

Freaking Out

 

 

Yellowcard Setlist:

Lights and Sounds

Cut Me, Mick

Only One

Southern Air

Transmission Home

One Bedroom

Lift a Sail

Childhood Eyes

Keeper

Be the Young

The Hurt is Gone

Ocean Avenue

 

 

Third Eye Blind Setlist:

Motorcycle Drive By

Dust Storm (“Just Like Heaven” by The Cure interpolation)

Never Let You Go

Narcolepsy

The Kids Are Coming

Wolf Like Me / Company of Strangers

Graduate

Wounded

Weightless / Faster / Water Landing

Losing a Whole Year

Shipboard Cook

The Background

Palm Reader

Blinded

Slow Motion

Jumper

Semi-Charmed Life

How’s It Going to Be

 

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