weather icon Clear

Alt-rockers Third Eye Blind set for Las Vegas show at The Pearl

Confessional lyrics intertwining heartache and hope in a knot of emotion.

Melodies that soar even when spirits sink.

An outsider’s need to share what’s inside.

On paper, Stephan Jenkins certainly qualifies as an emo forebear.

On the phone, the Third Eye Blind frontman sounds less than convinced.

“There was some article somewhere about me and Billy Corgan being the architects of emo, and I’m like, ‘I’m super not emo,’ ” he chuckles. “I think it’s funny. I have a very goth subcurrent in me, things passing and things fading as being a reminder to be alive in this moment. We make an emotional landscape internally that’s really looking into that friction between people when they’re trying to figure out what they’re about.”

Contrast this thematic friction with the smoothness of Third Eye Blind’s sound — earnest and earwormy, hooks buoyant enough to float on water — and it naturally follows that so many bands that were part of the emo and pop-punk boom of the 2000s have cited Third Eye Blind as an influence — including Vegas’ biggest contribution to that crowd, Panic! At the Disco.

That Third Eye Blind is on the road with another act of that ilk, Jimmy Eat World, makes for an astute pairing.

Since emerging in the late-’90s with its six-times-platinum self-titled debut, which spawned hit singles such as “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Jumper” and “How’s It Going to Be,” Third Eye Blind has been a touchstone for bands seeking to wed a measure of radio friendliness with emotional candor.

A break from the bros

When Third Eye Blind broke out in 1997, nü metal was on the rise, Marilyn Manson was huge, and moody rockers such as Creed were starting to put the airwaves in a death grip.

Amid all this testosterone and clenched teeth, Third Eye Blind registered as a sonic — if not a lyrical — balm, its songs insistently hummable even when Jenkins was singing about meth addiction, alienation and suicide.

The group sold a lot of records but never really fit in with its angstier-than-thou contemporaries.

Jenkins says he was used to it.

“I never felt part of a scene, even in San Francisco coming up, there were musical scenes,” he says. “I was just like, I did not get into this to submit myself to anyone else’s aesthetics or principles. We were always misfits. We were always on the outside. And that appeals to other people who feel like they are misfits.

“I said really early on, ‘We make music for misfits.’ I don’t need to explain myself,” he continues. “I have an exchange with my audience that is very direct, and I feel very fortunate to be comprehended by that audience. That makes me feel confident to just try to be in that space of letting songs happen without judging them or trying to make them into something or, God forbid, trying to make a hit. That kind of stuff, I’m not interested.”

Playing with Pumpkins

One ’90s alt-rock prime mover that was down with Third Eye Blind, though, was Corgan, who publicly expressed his admiration for the band.

So when the band began writing its recently announced sixth record, “Screamer,” due out in October, with an emphasis on working with outside collaborators, Corgan was a prime recruit.

“Billy is just brilliant — and I don’t go around calling people brilliant — but that guy’s brilliant,” Jenkins says. “There’s kind of a structure of a song that Billy was like, ‘Let’s break that structure down. Let’s go into a new structure.’ I would take him a song, and he would just start pulling chord changes out of it, like that.”

Third Eye Blind has been opening its current show with the title track to its new one, an electro-pop rebel yell with another guest contributor.

“There’s a part on ‘Screamer’ where it was like, what are you looking for in this sound?” Jenkins recalls of putting the song together. “I was like, honestly, I kind of want it to sound like Sleigh Bells, like, Alexis Krauss doing that hype, cheerleader thing. And then somebody in my band was like, ‘Well, why don’t you just call Alexis Krauss? Which never occurred to me. And we did. She just came in and destroyed it, which is her way.”

“Screamer” is a record informed by current events, one that “explores the duality of our dystopian present as a catalyst for passionate humanism,” the band writes in the album’s press release.

Jenkins seems eager to instigate.

This is, after all, a man who’d bite a cactus before he’d bite his tongue.

“I want to cause trouble. … That’s how I feel,” he says. “I’m watching this dimness of complacency slip over people’s faces who think that they can’t be part of the remedy. The other side of that is that, in these times, it also wakes people up.

“I want to ignite that emotional spark in people that they transfer to everything else in their life,” he adds. “That’s my goal.”

Contact Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow @JasonBracelin on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Juan’s Flaming Fajitas in Las Vegas celebrates National Fajita Day
Cook Ruben Fuentes and general manager Taylor Pulliam of Juan’s Flaming Fajitas in Las Vegas prepare steak and shrimp fajitas with the restaurant’s signature fiery treatment. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pasta Shop Ristorante serves a watermelon-shrimp salad
Pasta Shop Ristorante & Art Gallery in Henderson serves a summer salad that combines watermelon with greens, feta and shrimp. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Factory Kitchen in Las Vegas makes classic affogato
Jorge Luque, pastry chef at The Factory Kitchen at The Venetian in Las Vegas, makes affogato with two simple ingredients - house-made gelato and fresh espresso. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review Journal with image from The Factory Kitchen)
The Cereal Killerz Kitchen serves over 100 cereals
Christopher Burns, owner of The Cereal Killerz Kitchen at Galleria at Sunset mall in Henderson, makes a Milk & Cookies Shake from his more than 100 varieties of cereal. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer in Las Vegas makes a State Fair CrazyShake
Bianca Zepeva, a shaker at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer at The Venetian in Las Vegas, makes a State Fair CrazyShake with a kettle corn rim, caramel, corn-based ice cream, popcorn brittle, crushed kettle corn, sprinkles and a cherry. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Balboa Pizza Company makes Thai peanut chicken wings
Irma Perez, kitchen manager at Balboa Pizza Company at The District at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, near Las Vegas, brines chicken wings for 24 hours before roasting and frying them and finishing them in various styles such as Thai peanut. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
New Venetian pool deck
Final touches are currently being added to the hotel’s main tower pool deck, which consists of five pools. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who is Vegas Vic? (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada State Museum Director Dennis McBride explains the origins of the Vegas icon.
Slater’s 50/50 in Las Vegas serves a 4-pound Big Island Feast Burger
Cindy Sun, general manager of Slater’s 50/50 in Las Vegas, makes the Big Island Feast Burger with 2 1/2 pounds of the house bacon/beef blend, Napa-cilantro slaw, six slices of American cheese, a can of grilled Spam, six slices of chargrilled pineapple, four fried eggs and a drizzle of teriyaki and serves it with macaroni salad. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a first look of MSG Sphere construction in Las Vegas
Representatives of The Madison Square Garden Company give the first glimpse of progress Tuesday of the under-construction MSG Sphere — a first-of-its-kind performance venue with high-tech audio and visual capabilities.
Shark Week cupcakes at Freed’s Bakery in Las Vegas
Brittnee Klinger, a cake decorator at Freed’s Bakery in Las Vegas, makes Shark Week cupcakes with ocean-blue buttercream, fondant fins and a blood-red strawberry filling. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fans and friends recall Elvis opening in Las Vegas
Fifty years ago on July 31st 1969, Elvis Presley opened at the International hotel in Las Vegas. He went on to do 837 consecutive sold-out shows at the property.
Hot peach cobbler at Beaumont’s Southern Kitchen at Texas Station
Michael Ross, room chef/pitmaster at Beaumont’s Southern Kitchen at Texas Station in Las Vegas, makes peach cobbler by baking peaches in a cast-iron pan with batter and crumble, then topping with Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream and bourbon-caramel sauce. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Water Grill opens at The Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas
Water Grill, from a 30-year-old California company opening its first Las Vegas location, specializes is fresh seafood including 16 types of oysters. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cat's Meow comes to Las Vegas
New Orleans-based karaoke chain opens new location in Neonopolis. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making the Loco Moco Breakfast Burger at Broken Yolk Cafe in Las Vegas
Manny Menina, line cook at Broken Yolk Cafe in Las Vegas, stacks 8 ounces of beef, 2 strips of bacon, hash browns, caramelized onions and 2 fried eggs on 4 King’s Hawaiian slider buns to make the Loco Moco Breakfast Burger. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
SecretBurger at China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Carlos Cruz, executive chef of Jose Andres’ China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, makes the SecretBurger off-menu, one-night-only ‘All Quacked Up’ with a kimchi pancake, Peking duck, house-made hoisin sauce, a fried duck egg, pickled micro-vegetables, caviar and gold flakes and serves it with a Stillwater Artisanal Ale. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Famous Blue Angel statue commemorated in downtown Las Vegas mural
The 16-foot tall Blue Angel statue that stood above the Blue Angel Motel for six decades is featured in a mural spanning three walls at a downtown Las Vegas building. James Stanford designed the “A Phalanx of Angels Ascending" mural based on his photography, and Cliff Morris painted the mural at 705 Las Vegas Blvd. North, near the Neon Museum. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Making Castle Frites at the new Frites at Excalibur
Tom McGrath, district manager/executive chef at Frites at the Excalibur in Las Vegas, tops his beef-tallow fries like a loaded baked potato - with white and yellow cheddar, sour cream, bacon and chives. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hello Kitty Cafe on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
The Hello Kitty Cafe opens Friday, July 12th, 2019, between New York, New York and Park MGM on the Las Vegas Strip. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Amano Las Vegas' Fat Baby Sandwich
Chef Jason Weber of Amano Las Vegas has created a sandwich stuffed with pasta, and it's a hit. (Mat Luschek / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A class at Melissa Coppel Chocolate and Pastry School in Las Vegas.
Melissa Coppel, who teaches classes in various countries around the world, attracts students from far and wide to her eponymous school in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Havana Lobster at Boteco in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marcus Fortunato, co-owner of Boteco in Las Vegas, learned to make Havana Lobster from the chef at El Figaro, a favorite of former Cuban President Fidel Castro.
Chef Gustav Mauler Is retiring
Las Vegas chef Gustav Mauler announces his retirement on Sunday, June 30, 2019.
Bellagio Conservatory unveils Italian summer exhibit
The Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens have opened the gates to its summer display. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
A.D. Hopkins on his debut novel
Veteran journalist introduces readers to “The Boys Who Woke Up Early.” (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Seven Magic Mountains restoration complete
Artist Ugo Rondinone’s iconic Seven Magic Mountains receives a complete painting restoration in June 2019.
Making off-the-menu bean curd rolls at Mr. Chow in Las Vegas
Senior chef tournant Cesar Laran has created secret bean curd rolls at Mr. Chow at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. To make them, he rolls bean curd sheets around a filling of carrots, celery and shiitake mushrooms, then smokes them with oolong tea and sugar. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making Bread Pudding French Toast at Esther’s Kitchen in Las Vegas
James Trees, chef/owner of Esther’s Kitchen in Las Vegas, slices house-made blueberry bread pudding, coats it in egg yolks and mascarpone, fries it and tops it with spiced walnuts, Lyle’s Golden Syrup and creme fraiche. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Celine Dion closes 1,141-show residency on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Hear from Celine Dion about her 16 years on the Las Vegas Strip and what the future has in store for her. (Caesars Entertainment)