Issue: Summer 2000
January 24, 2001
Living the Semi-Charmed Life
Sometimes, even the LA crowds surprise you. The thinking going into an evening with Vertical Horizon and Third Eye Blind was that it was going to be a night of listening to very young girls screaming their lungs out and throwing various undergarments onto the stage. It wasn't the case.
With the Greek Theatre packed with everything from parents with their children to many groups of thirtysomething singles to the surprisingly few young girls, it seemed the focus was on each of the bands, but for different reasons; fans wanted to hear the many 3EB hits live and see if the band was as good on stage as they were in the studs, and everyone wanted to know if there was more to Vertical Horizon than the one song they've heard on the radio.
For 3EB, it was a night of holding the cards pretty close to the vest. They have a dynamic live show, with singer Stephan Jenkins being the obvious focus. For the most part, it's his show. The other guys mostly melt into the lighting and stage show, while Jenkins moves about, doing a very effective job of delivering the band's many hits. Third Eye Blind has done a wonderful job of crossing from post-grunge rockers to main-stream media favorites, and they didn't disappoint, moving through their catalogue like the headliners that they are. Hits "Semi-Charmed Life" and "Deep Inside Of You" were especially notable, and Jenkins held the crowd in his grip for the duration of the evening.
For Vertical Horizon, the object of the evening was quite different. As opening bands in Los Angeles quickly find out, LA fans generally don't show up until they headliner is about to go on, and those fans that are there seem to pretty much disregard the opening bands entirely. For Vertical Horizon, it was quite a different story. Their breakthrough radio hit "Everything You Want" has been in very heavy rotation on both modern rock and top 40 radio, so the fans we very much interested in finding out what was behind the hype.
What may set Vertical Horizon apart is that they had three albums released before Everything You Want ever hit the store shelves. Having played plenty of shows and possessing a full book of songs to work with, Vertical Horizon, fronted by the shaven-headed Matthew Scannell, did a more than effective job of showing the packed house that they are much more than on-hit-wonders. With tunes like "You're A God" and "We Are", Vertical Horizon showed that headlining isn't far off, with a little more help from the radio gods. Easily enough, they kept the Greek Theatre at attention and truly had them warmed up for 3EB.
Undoubtedly, for both bands it was a successful night; for Third Eye Blind, they delivered what was expected, and for Vertical Horizon, they delivered more than what the crowd had come to get.
Third Eye Blind