After a set of unknown songs and boos from a massively disappointed crowd of Republican attendees, Third Eye Blind became instant heroes of the LGBT rights movement.
The band was being billed as the “headline performing act” at a benefit concert at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum in Cleveland. Instead of playing any of their hits like “Semi-Charmed Life” or “How’s It Going to Be,” however, lead singer Stephan Jenkins used his microphone to blast the GOP ideology with pro-LGBT and pro-science messages, and played the group’s obscure tracks.
— Tina (@tinpant) July 20, 2016
The audience of RNC attendees was not pleased, but the band didn’t seem to care.
— Third Eye Blind (@ThirdEyeBlind) July 20, 2016
Jenkins asked the crowd to raise their hand if they believed in science, talked about the need bring people like “my cousins, who are gay, into the American fabric,” and about “not living your life in fear and imposing that fear on other people.”
In a Facebook post, the group explained why they had agreed to do the show: “Given that the benefit was held in Cleveland, we suspected that convention types might show up and we let it be known we were there to support Musicians on Call and that we in fact repudiate every last stitch of the RNC platform and the grotesque that is their nominee.” They go on to say what their disagreements with the GOP’s platform are: “Science is science. Coal is not clean. Black Lives Matter. LGBTQ = equal. Separation of church and state (still a good idea).”
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
Third Eye Blind is 100% trolling Republicans. 30 minutes in, zero songs anybody has heard of
— Brent Scher (@BrentScher) July 20, 2016
At one point, Jenkins told the crowd: “You can boo all you want, but I’m the mothe**ing artist up here!”
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) July 20, 2016
The concert was a “charity event for Musicians on Call (MOC) during the Republican National Convention,” hosted by the Recording Industry Association of America RIAA according to the press release. MOC is a “nonprofit that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities.”