[RECAP] Dashboard Confessional / Third Eye Blind at Festival Pier 6/20/15

"Hands down this is the best day I can ever remember."

Since the early 2000’s I’ve been a Dashboard Confessional fan, even though it’s not the style of music I normally enjoy. Focusing on an artist’s lyrics has always been a cornerstone of my lifelong music fandom and if there’s one thing DC mastermind Chris Carrabba does well, it’s write a good song. I wasn’t sure what to expect from seeing the band live, their catalog consists heavily of sad love songs and acoustics. I found myself pleasantly surprised by the energy the band, especially Carrabba, brought to the stage. He jumped around, engaged the crowd, and rocked out with the other band members while the crowd sang every word and hit beach balls back and forth through the air.

Somehow Chris Carrabba is even more attractive in person. He’s charismatic and gracious, and I lost track of how many times he thanked the crowd for coming out to the show and supporting the band and even stopped mid-song to break up an altercation. The band, which is planning their first release since 2009, played a 16 song set consisting everything you could hope to hear including “Screaming Infidelities”, “Hands Down,” “Vindicated”, “Don’t Wait”, and “Again I Go Unnoticed”. During the band’s hiatus, Carrabba started the more country/folk leaning side project Twin Forks, Dashboard’s set included a cover of one of those songs, “Back to You”.

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Soon after the sun set for the night, Third Eye Blind hit the stage. I have to admit I was only familiar with their radio hits like “Graduate”, “Semi-Charmed Life”, “How’s It Going To Be”, and “Jumper”. It quickly became clear to me that I was probably one of the only people that didn’t know all of their songs. Their sea of fans screamed their lyrics and desperately tried to get lead singer Stephen Jenkins’ attention.

Jenkins is a pure rock star. All eyes were glued to him while jumped, flipped, played guitar and reached for fans throughout the night. Apparently the bands motto is about peace and friendship, between songs Jenkins told fans to interact with a stranger near them. He explained it is okay to be shy but everyone at a Third Eye Blind show are friends. Not everyone seemed to get this theme though because a little later a fight broke out, but Jenkins quickly squashed it. They ended the night with “Semi-Charmed Life” but stuck around for a few minutes to bow and throw drum sticks and guitar pics into the audience.

When I first heard about Dashboard Confessional and Third Eye Blind touring together I thought it was an odd combination. It occurred to me after the show that both bands seem very down to earth and like they really care about their fans.  Maybe it wasn’t such an unusual coupling after all.

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Megan Hawkey is the co-founder of Riot-Nerd. She is a 34-year-old concert photographer. She lives in Fishtown with her supportive husband and their 2 rescued Pitbull mixes.
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