Fans of late ’90s pop-rock were gearing up to be seriously disappointed yesterday (July 19), as the genre’s crown jewel Third Eye Blind were scheduled to play an event associated with the Republican National Convention.
3EB did end up playing the Cleveland show, but don’t worry: You can still sing along to “Semi-Charmed Life” with a clear conscience. Frontman Stephan Jenkins and his band were only out to troll the nation’s Grand Old Party.
At an charity event sponsored by the RIAA and hosted at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum — one not officially linked to the RNC but one that, as Rolling Stone points out, evidently had referential ties to the convention — Jenkins openly, viciously mocked the many Republicans in attendance.
Not only did Jenkins refuse to play 3EB’s biggest hit, he also spoke out against fear and intolerance before performing “Jumper,” a song he wrote about a gay friend’s suicide. “To love this song is to take into your heart the message ... and not live your life in fear and imposing that fear on other people.”
At the end of the set, Jenkins asked the crowd to “raise your hand if you believe in science.” He was reportedly met with boos.
Third Eye Blind steadfastly refused to perform at the 2012 Republican National Convention, but now they’ve adopted a different (and much funnier) strategy to protest the party at its core.