THIRD EYE BLIND 7-1-22 @ Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, MN (Review)

Thousands of Alternative Rock fans all around Minnesota gathered together Friday night to watch an amazing show at the Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, Minnesota. When the “Summer Gods Tour” was announced earlier this year, I knew it was a show I could not miss. Third Eye Blind is headlining while Taking Back Sunday and Hockey Dad is supporting the opening slots. To my surprise, the lines weren’t long! The Mystic Lake Casino staff really did a great job getting people through quickly. However, the lines were long outside the merchandise tent and food court as the masses waited to get t-shirts, great food, and beer. You have to be ready for a great show, right?

The first band to open the night was the Australian rock band, Hockey Dad, (Zach Stephenson- lead vocals/guitar and Billy Fleming- drums, as well as an unknown touring bassist). This talented duo has been a band for just under a decade and has released three full-length albums.  As they took the stage, the crowd began to cheer and the opening notes began to play. The chemistry between the two musicians and their touring bassist was evident as they continued with their set. As the final notes rang out, Fleming threw his drumsticks out to the crowd. I’m sure they gained a lot of fans that night.

Next up was the post-hardcore/emo band, Taking Back Sunday (Adam Lazzara- vocals, John Nolan- lead guitar/keyboards, Mark O’Connell- drums, Shaun Cooper-bass).  The band emerged onto the stage and opened with “Tidal Wave.”  Frontman Adam Lazzara paced on stage as he belted out vocals that sounded nearly identical live as they do on the band’s records.  Drummer Mark O’Connell pounded on his kit as they transitioned into “Set Phasers to Stun,” “Liar (It Takes One to Know One),” and “Just Us Two.” One of the funniest moments of their set was hearing Lazzara share how their song “Timberwolves at New Jersey” got its name.  He heard there were “timber wolves in New Jersey” and didn’t realize it was a professional basketball team. Since this is Minnesota, and the Timberwolves are our team, we all got a great laugh. 

The crowd stayed active throughout “You’re So Last Summer,” “Flicker, Fade,” and “Better Homes and Gardens.” Another funny moment was at the end of “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut From the Team),” when Lazzara laughingly admitted to having sung the second verse twice. “I’m six-foot-two and handsome…but I make mistakes too.” I respect musicians who can jest and laugh at themselves. The band closed with “MakeDamnSure” and there was not a silent voice in the crowd. We all thoroughly enjoyed the show. 

Next up was the band we’d all been waiting for- Third Eye Blind (Stephan Jenkins- lead vocals/guitar, Kryz Reid- guitar, Alex LeCavalier- bass, Brad Hargreaves- drums, Colin Creev- keyboards).  I have been to a ton of live shows but had never seen this legendary band until this night.  If I was to sum up their set with one word, it would be “nostalgic.”  Hearing this band brought back so many memories to everyone who was there.

The band is celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut and self-titled album and aptly treated Minnesota by opening their set with “Thanks a Lot.” The stage was lit up with dim blue lights as the crowd went wild before the influential band. As it is with many bands, the most popular albums are the earlier ones, and, much to the crowd’s delight, the San Francisco band played a majority of their set from their first two (and most popular) albums. It must be extremely hard for any veteran group to play the same songs for 25 years, but Third Eye Blind seemed to perform with genuine joy. During the regular set, the band performed an impressive twenty-one songs! Nine were off of their self-titled debut and five were from “Out of the Vein.”

One of the highlights of the night was when most of the band stepped away and left  Jenkins with just an acoustic guitar. He preceded to perform “The Background” and “Box of Bones,” drawing the attention of everyone to the intimate moment. Other highlights of the show were hearing the band play homage to two other rock bands. Just after they played “The Kids Are Coming To Take You Down” from their 2019 album, “Screamer,” the band played “Disorder” from the English rock group, “Joy Division.” The second cover song came at the end of the regular setlist. This time the band played “Funeral Singers” by the experimental rock group, “Califone.” Much to our surprise, members of both Hockey Dad and Taking Back Sunday joined Third Eye Blind on stage for this epic closing song. Although the band exited the stage, we knew this wasn’t the end.

After a several-minute break, the five men emerged from backstage to deliver an incredible encore. There was not a silent voice in the crowd as “Semi-charmed Life” began to play. After they played their certified Gold single, the band played the popular break-up song, “How It’s Going to Be.” When this song was first released as a single in October of 1997, it remained on the charts for an entire year. Now, twenty-five years later, it seems to remain as popular as it did then. The band closed their encore with the slower, yet powerful song, “God of Wine.” Our night watching the Summer Gods Tour was fun, nostalgic, and unforgettable. 

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