They say hindsight is 20/20, but something tells us Third Eye Blind aren’t looking back on their latest concert with regret.
The alt-rockers, fronted by Stephan Jenkins, performed at a Tuesday night charity event tied to the Republican National Convention — and ultimately trolled conservative concertgoers in the process.
Hosted by the Recording Industry Association of America and AT&T at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, local news reports the band’s set was initially expected to include covers of pro-America anthems, though they opted to perform almost entirely lesser known tracks.
At one point during the concert, Jenkins poked fun at controversial conservative views. “Raise your hand if you believe in science!” he reportedly taunted, drawing a series of boos from the crowd. He responded: “You can boo all you want, but I’m the motherf—king artist up here.”
While onstage, Jenkins also spoke in favor of liberal causes as he championed LGBT rights, referencing his gay cousins as he stressed the importance of bringing gay people “into the American fabric.”
“To love this song is to take into your heart the message and to actually have the feeling to arrive and move forward and not live your life in fear [not] imposing that fear on other people,” Jenkins said before launching into the hit song “Jumper,” which he previously revealed was written after one of his gay friends jumped off a bridge.
Following the performance, fans took to Twitter to vent their frustrations with the band. One attendee, Liza White, tweeted directly at Third Eye Blind’s verified account. “I have never been more disappointed,” she wrote. The band responded with a simple “good.”
“The Republican National Convention is not a private event… It’s a public sales pitch, and everyone is supposed to deliver the script,” Jenkins previously wrote in an piece for The Huffington Post detailing his reasons for declining a prior invite to perform at the RNC in 2012. “This whole hustle is peppered with music bits meant to wed policies like forced births of rapists’ babies and minority voter suppression to song. Even the private party my band was asked to play at the RNC is not some innocuous event. Though I am happy to play for Republican fans, like my lifelong Republican mom, playing the RNC convention is a tacit endorsement of the Republican presidential candidate and his party platform, and this is not my mom’s Republican Party anymore.”
Later, Third Eye Blind clarified their involvement in the event, posting a statement to Facebook Wednesday afternoon.
“We did not play an RNC event. We performed at a benefit for Musicians on Call because we support their mission in bringing music to the bedsides of patients in hospitals,” they wrote. “We have Republican friends, family members, and fans, and we love them all. What we reject is what their party has come to stand for. But in keeping with Musicians on Call’s message, we believe in the gathering power of music. With that spirit we don’t step back from our audience wherever or whomever they are.”