The '90s rockers performed at Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Tuesday, in the same city as the Republican Party is holding its national convention.
American rock veterans Third Eye Blind used a gig at a Republican Party fundraiser in Cleveland to antagonise a GOP-heavy crowd, with their singer Stephan Jenkins using his platform to wind up the audience with things like “raise your hand if you believe in science”.
The gig at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Tuesday night (July 19th) wasn’t officially affiliated to the Republic National Convention that’s also happening in the city this week – it was held by the non-profit Musicians On Call that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of hospital patients – the event’s sponsors RIAA made it clear that it was connected to the Trump victory party going on elsewhere, and the event was heavily populated with RNC attendees and delegates.
Third Eye Blind performing live in 2015
Knowing this, the ‘90s rockers turned in a set that resolutely avoided any of Third Eye Blind’s famous hits, and lead singer Jenkins generally trolled the crowd with condemnations of Republican ideology.
Cleveland.com reported the following morning that after one heckler loudly booed the group between songs, Jenkins responded by saying: “You can boo all you want, but I’m the motherf****** artist up here.”
Pointedly, the only hit they did play was ‘Jumper’, a track inspired by the suicide of the band’s gay friend. Before they started playing, Jenkins said: “To love this song is to take into your heart the message and to actually have the feeling to arrive and move forward and not live your life in fear [not] imposing that fear on other people.”
The antagonising continued after the show via Twitter, with some attendees announcing their distaste at what they had seen and the group’s official account replying “Good”.
Third Eye Blind have sold approximately 12 million albums worldwide since their formation in 1993, although they have recorded rarely in all that time, releasing just five albums up to and including 2015’s Dopamine.