The air outside Kuhl Gym on Saturday, Nov. 17 was crisp as autumn exerted herself and winter rolled in with the biting wind, but the line of fans that stretched from the gymnasium entrance to the edge of the parking lot breathed heat and exhilaration as they awaited admission into this year's Fall Concert, headlined by '90s never-say-die rockers Third Eye Blind.
The scene was filled with a variety of students, strangers and scalpers all looking forward to getting out of the cold and getting into the mood.
When the doors opened, the building flooded and the home of the Blue Knights belonged to Stephan Jenkins and his band of manic, angst-driven showstoppers. The crowd continued to pile in, and the concert staff, including The Lamron's own Travis Sackett, a senior, frantically prepared for what would be a blowout of synthetic overtures and harmonic stage psychosis.
When the house lights dimmed and opening act Matt White took to the stage, the gym was enlivened more than ever before. Unfortunately, White's inflated, love-sick sounds that wavered between "love me!" and "why don't you love me?" while remaining an over-swelled version of The Fray or Mat Kearney, was absent of that chemical changeover that allows great bands to synchronize and blow musical bullets through brains. Regardless of White's inability to avoid sounding like a Maroon 5 cover band, the students responded affectionately.
With White's set winding down, everyone waited with that suspended rock show eagerness while the concert crew exchanged drum kits and lighting cues for the main act. Thirty-three minutes later, the alt-rock demi-gods found themselves under purple lights and the emphatic hollers from the crowd. Their equipment was impeccable: a five-star setup with stalling strobe lights that kicked in during the percussion transitions of their first tune along with an oversized band banner of lights, both entirely excessive and absolutely necessary.
This was the tone throughout the night. Third Eye Blind would persistently overthrow the grandeur of their previous song with their following song, in step always towards the high society of musical pandemonium. The crowd devoured every bit. The changeover absent in White's live performance was burned to ash and swept away almost instantaneously after the arrival of Third Eye Blind.
The band, which sported a different guitarist (Tony Fredianelli) and bassist (Leo Kremer) than the 1990s counterpart, played together as if every member were meant to match each other. Alongside Jenkins' stage presence that was "in the mood for a throw down," the concert had one level of energy: absolute.
Particular highlights came with the performances of "Semi-Charmed Life," the unreleased "The Bonfire" and "Jumper," when drummer Brad Hargreaves exploded from one end of his kit to the other, and then back again during his big solo.
Another highlight came when the entire band moved to acoustics and the front of the stage, showing their effortless ability to transition from alternative to screamo to acoustic without forfeiting their irrefutable sound. Jenkins later announced that the band would not only release a live album, but that Geneseo was on the list of venues the band would be recording at. This led to an uproar unlike all others in the night and from that point forward the gym was united under the illuminated banner of "3eb."
The crowd at Kuhl Gym watched Jenkins and company shoot at the stars with saturated affluence and resounding immortality. When their set was over, the crowd remained until Jenkins returned to play the childish but coveted "Slow Motion" and finally, "How's It Gonna Be." Put to the test, Third Eye Blind delivered, and the night will surely go uncontested for years to come.