Fans were not even semi-charmed by that set. Third Eye Blind totally annoyed attendees at their Cleveland, Ohio, concert — most of whom were in town for the Republican National Convention — by trolling Republicans the entire concert and refusing to play their biggest hits, including “Semi-Charmed Life.”
The ’90s alternative rock band headlined a charity event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Tuesday, July 19, and didn’t play any of their famous songs, except for 1997’s “Jumper.” The reason for gracing the crowd with the lone chart-topping tune: Lead singer Stephan Jenkins has previously said it’s about “a guy who jumped off a bridge and killed himself because he was gay.” He used the intro to advocate for LGBT rights, and at the end of the song told the crowd, “Raise your hand if you believe in science.”
Third Eye Blind tonite at #RNCinCLE event: We believe in tolerance, acceptance ?? (Followed by boos) pic.twitter.com/WPRIEMZmEp
— Tina (@tinpant) July 20, 2016
They also performed one of their less well-known tracks, 2009’s “Non-Dairy Creamer,” which has a pretty political message and includes the repeated line, “young gay Republicans.” It’s said to be a critique of war in America — likely the Iraq War, which was happening that year.
One angry concertgoer tweeted, “@ThirdEyeBlind I have never been more disappointed.” The band replied, “Good.”
Third Eye Blind clarified some misconceptions about their trolling in a statement on Twitter on Wednesday, July 20. “We did not play an RNC event. We performed at a benefit for Musicians on Call because we support their mission in bringing music to the bedsides of patients in hospitals,” they wrote.
“Given that the benefit was held in Cleveland, we suspect that convention types might show up and we let it be known we were there to support Musicians on Call and that we in fact repudiate every last stitch of the RNC platform and the grotesque that is their nominee,” the band continued, before listing out, “Science is science. Coal is not clean. Black Lives Matter. LGBTQ = equal. Separation of church and state (still a good idea).”
While the RNC attendees loudly booed the performance, social media users had mixed opinions.
“Definitely proud to call @ThirdEyeBlind one of my favorite bands after that bold stand. Hats off to @stephanjenkins for speaking your mind,” one tweeter wrote.
Others were concerned that the band’s vocal opinions may have done damage to the charity. “Embarrassing a great charity like @musiciansoncall is not an epic troll…@musiciansoncall is a great cause, it’s a shame @ThirdEyeBlind ruined a nice night for them,” another Twitter user posted.
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