November 6, 2015
O2 Forum, Kentish Town, London
The show opened in a riot of colour as L.A. pop-rock band Symmetry took the stage. Perhaps more suited to the Warped Tour than the modern rock crowd they faced, the band’s earnest energy was, nonetheless, compelling. With the exception of Katy Perry’s Roar, the songs were unfamiliar to most, but their musicianship – especially from blind guitarist Jared Hara – marked them out as more genuine than generic. Symmetry performed in support of their new album, The Cure.
“Of course you’re shy, people can hurt you – but not here. These are your people” – Stephan Jenkins
Third Eye Blind played their first three songs in a thick haze of dry ice, reminiscent of the fog that recently enveloped London. Venue staff described the staging decision as maverick, which proved an apt description of the set as a whole. Variously performing as an ethereal silhouette, with a nonchalant Oasis-style swagger, or bounding relentlessly across the stage, singer Stephan Jenkins set the tone for a raucous and deliciously unpredictable night.
Having toured the UK relatively few times in the 18 years since the release of their eponymous debut album, the band knew they were playing to many long-time fans for the first time. Such patience was rewarded with a balanced set mixing tracks from their latest release, Dopamine, with fan favourites such as Slow Motion (one of the most beautiful songs about murder you’ll ever hear) and stand-out hits from back in the day like Graduate, Losing a Whole Year, and the iconic Semi-Charmed Life. Let’s hope it’s not another five years before they next play these shores.