Updated: Monday, 10th December 2018 @ 4:16pm

Review: Third Eye Blind @ Manchester Academy 2

Review: Third Eye Blind @ Manchester Academy 2

| By Adam Wareing

American rockers Third Eye Blind stormed the Academy 2 on Friday as part of their 20th anniversary tour.

Ahead of their US Fall of the Summer Gods tour dates, the five-piece treated a mixed-aged crowd to a selection of their greatest hits alongside songs from new EP We Are Drugs.

Just two years after the band’s last visit to Manchester, their core fans were out in force once again, going particularly crazy for tracks from their 20-year-old self-titled debut album.

Without skipping a beat, Third Eye Blind seamlessly flowed from their irresistibly catchy newest release Company of Strangers into 1997 B-side Horror Show, both of which were cleverly turbulent in pace.

Following a stint of high-tempo songs from their most recent records, lead singer Steven Jenkins launched into fan-favourite Semi Charmed Life, turning half an hour of head nodding into rhythmic fist pumping within seconds.

During classroom anthem Graduate, a blistering lead guitar solo, grounded by Brad Hargreaves’ relentless drumming, set up the crowd to cry out ‘can I graduate’ in place of a visibly impressed Jenkins.

The multi-talented songwriter and rhythm guitarist then apologised for his set’s focus on their first album, but he of all people knew that this was the reason for such a strong turnout.

Semi-acoustic ballads Motorcycle Drive By and Slow Motion, complete with a softer, yet still gripping delivery, demonstrated the group’s ability to tone down their previously dense sound.

With the crowd in full voice, nobody even noticed when Jenkins briefly forgot his own lyrics to Deep Inside Of Me.

CROWDS: Mancunians came out in full force to hear the band

Dim downstage lighting and continuous use of a smoke machine prevented fans from seeing the band’s faces for most of the night, although nobody appeared to care for anything other than the music.

Those lights intensified in time for I’ll Never Let You Go, when Jenkins’ impressively high pitched vocal bookended Kryz Reid’s epic solo riff.

Jumper, more recently famed for Jim Carrey’s cover in 2008 film Yes Man, appeared to be the song that most had waited to see, and the band, led by their frontman’s simplistic acoustic strumming, didn’t disappoint.

The San Francisco-based group then returned for the encore, playing How It’s Going to Be, which was sung by the majority of a very satisfied crowd, providing a euphoric climax to the night.

Despite the band’s lack of chart success in the UK and only Jenkins remaining from the original line-up, Mancunians are still being pulled by those anthemic shout-it-loud choruses – and for good reason too!