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90s Nostalgia and Indie Rap to Ring in Spring

Adriana Pratt | Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fans can jump out of that semi-charmed kind of life and get deep inside the Third Eye Blind experience Saturday when the band takes the Stepan Center stage.

Though it’s their third visit to campus, many students will get to experience Third Eye Blind live for the first time this weekend. Fresh off recording their fifth album in London, the group is expected to play their classics “Jumper” and “Semi-Charmed Life,” and possibly give a taste of their new tunes.

Third Eye Blind began recording their fifth album in London on March 13 and tweets from the group hint at what’s to come. “Working on something to make you dance”(March 22) and “Nothing like a little shaker and cowbell for some finishing touches” (March 21) tease anxious fans.

To quell those nerves, Third Eye Blind put up their call-to-action recent single, “If There Ever Was a Time” on their website for free download. The band released the song about the Occupy Wall Street protests in November to show their support for the movement.

Members of Third Eye Blind have shifted since the band released their first major demo in 1993, but lead singer Stephan Jenkins has remained the constant. Brad Hargreaves plays the drums, percussion and piano, and Abe Millett joins on bass guitar. Kryz Read plays the lead guitar and all three musicians provide backing vocals.

Though Third Eye Blind hasn’t met success similar to its initial 1997 album release, which provided the hits “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Graduate,” “How’s It Going to Be,” “Losing a Whole Year” and “Jumper,” they still remain a musical force. Jenkins made an appearance on VH1’s “Big Morning Buzz” in November in the midst of the OWS protests to promote “If There Ever Was a Time” and the band will continue on tour this year.

Never one to shy away from controversial material, Third Eye Blind’s past releases have covered topics from crystal meth use to sex to suicide. Though Jenkins is fast approaching his 50s, the band proves they’re still focused on remaining relevant with their recent singles.

Steven Markowitz, better known by his stage name “Hoodie Allen,” will keep the night young as he opens for the headlining act. The New York native once majored in finance and marketing at the University of Pennsylvania; now, the former Google employee is an up-and-coming rapper.

His song “You Are Not a Robot” featuring Marina & the Diamonds is one of his most popular and “James Franco” has garnered national attention. While watching the music video, it’s hard not to think of a Notre Dame home basketball game. Various people run around with their heads covered by blown-up photos of Franco’s face, bobbling around like the enlarged photos of players in the Irish student section.

The diverse acts will liven up the Stepan stage Saturday night in a way similar to last year’s SUB concert. Chiddy Bang rapped ahead of the old school O.A.R., and this year a modern rapper will once again preclude a band largely popular in the ’90s.

So dress to the ’90s and head to Stepan when the doors open at 7:30 p.m. The concert is set to start at 8 p.m. and will last as long as the crowds keep moshing.