Third Eye Blind is a band based out of San Francisco. Songwriter/singer/guitarist Stephan Jenkins is an unabashed left-leaning individual with personal views that clash strongly with the GOP.
Despite that context, the band was booked to perform a charity set for Musicians on Call on Tuesday night near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The event was held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and despite it not being officially affiliated with the RNC, Rolling Stone reported that the show was ‘tied’ to Donald Trump’s clinch of the GOP nomination.
Epic @ThirdEyeBlind troll of RNC event. Played none of the hits, bashed GOP platform, asked "Who here believes in science?" So much booing.
— Peter Hamby (@PeterHamby) July 20, 2016
Because of all that, Jenkins and his band turned the appearance into a chance to confront the audience with two things they probably weren’t expecting: deep album cuts, very few hits and some serious championing of left-wing causes, among them LGBT rights and science. To that end, Jenkins at one point asked, ‘So who out there likes science!’ as a jab.
Selecting some songs from their 2014 album Dopamine to play in place of several hits (they did not play Semi-Charmed Life or How’s It Gonna Be, for example) 3EB did leave one hit for the end: Jumper, which was prefaced by Jenkins with this speech:
“This next song is a case in point. This is a song about acceptance and tolerance, from a friend who jumped off a bridge because he was being bullied because he was gay. And the RNC is still not, to this very day, been able to incorporate LGBT Americans fully, like my cousins, who are gay, into the American fabric. To love this song is to take into your heart the message, and actually, actually have a feeling to arrive and move forward and not life your life in fear, and imposing that fear on other people.”
UPDATE: The band sent out the following on Wednesday afternoon, amid all the attention given regarding their performance:
— Third Eye Blind (@ThirdEyeBlind) July 20, 2016