The Anthems of Our Youth
Editor - Lisa Murphy
When the first announcements for DC101 Blossom Bash started...
we knew that we had a great opportunity for some of our community to see a great show featuring Third Eye Blind and Bush, as well as Lovelytheband, an awesome up-and-coming opening band.
In the days leading up to the concert there was plenty of time to grow more excited with the anticipation of seeing not only Third Eye Blind but also Bush who is such an amazing band. Both bands are popular in similar ways and have their own fiercely devoted fans.
There were a fair amount challenges for everyone getting into Washington DC due to the Cherry Blossom Festival. The hotels were packed and there was traffic congestion on the way to the venue. One thing was for sure, we were all there for the right reasons, and nothing would stop us from seeing Third Eye Blind. We all managed to meet up and wound up waiting in line together extremely excited for the opportunity to experience three amazing bands.
We passed the time waiting for the doors to open by interacting with those around us. In addition to conducting pre-show interviews, we saw long distance friends, and made some new ones. We also had the opportunity to catch up with folks from Bonfire, The Misfits and members of The Bush Army.
For a handful of those waiting in line, like Nikki, it was their first time seeing Third Eye Blind. She was a self-professed, somewhat obsessed super-fan who’s friend and fellow concert goer said “would give her right arm to see Third Eye Blind”. Others were there because they simply wanted a taste of 90s alternative music nostalgia and were excited at the opportunity of seeing both amazing bands play together and share the same stage. Even better, was the chance to get the perspective of some of the hard-core BUSH fans. Some had waited all day. Some had come from as far as Brazil. After asking them questions about what they expected out of the show and what songs they wanted to hear we were given some helpful recommendations about what music to listen to from their expansive catalog, and their impressions on the most recent album. I learned that all the different groups from the causal to the more dedicated fan have a lot more in common than we realize. We all share the same deep passion for music that intimately connects each of our lives, and this still holds true years later. This common bond made for great conversations, and sharing concert stories while waiting for the bands to take the stage.
As the doors opened and the line moved into the open venue I was immediately blown away by the super high open ceiling, three balconies, the super classy fully stocked bars, and food service on both sides of the venue and on each floor. From what our friends in line were saying, the Anthem was a new venue having recently opened on October, 12th, 2017, with a concert by the Foo Fighters. Fifteen minutes later the concert was set to start, a very helpful and friendly security staff member explained the line-up for the evening, some basic venue rules, and to our delight the fact that the rail was long enough to accommodate four full chutes of the gated waiting area for the line. What a relief we’d all be upfront in no time!
One thing that was super impressive was how on top of the schedule they were. As soon as the venue filled in, LovelyTheBand was on stage and rocking out treating fans and first time listeners to their break out hits like “Broken”, “Make You Feel Pretty”, and even a cover of Ginuwine’s hit “Pony” faithful to its source material with an added rock flavor.
Stage hands quickly set up for BUSH to come out and begin their performance, but not before a few words were said by Mike Jones of DC101/iheartradio to amp up the crowd for the nights next performances. BUSH blasted out onto the stage with a no holds barred full 0-60 energy that instantly had the crowd singing and moshing to “Machine Head”.
Gavin was a lightning bolt in human form moving all over the stage. In true grunge/alt-rock form jumping and headbanging with his array of well used fenders, belting out lyrics to songs spanning their entire catalog. The guys all seemed to be having an amazing time. They were clearly feeding off of the crowd’s enthusiasm as they approached the rails playing over our heads out stretched singing. At one-point Gavin crossed over into the crowd and made his way through as people parted around him singing along and reaching out as he made his way back up the steps past security. You can view the setlist here.
We were all anxiously awaiting for Third Eye Blind to take the stage. For some of us it had been awhile since we had last been able to see them play live.
The guys started things off right with the classic pulse pounding opener "Losing a Whole Year". This set the tone for the show. The guys made their way through alternating fan favorites off of Blue, and Out Of The Vein, like: "Wounded", "Never Let You Go", "Blinded", and "Faster".
The best part, in my opinion, is that we all got the chance to hear "Horror Show" live. This song, with the exception of rarities and B-Sides, had not been released on a formal album until the 20th Anniversary Self-Titled Re-issue. Despite the fact that Stephan had confessed to the audience he had flown from Costa Rica, missed numerous flights, and traveled for almost 18 hours to get home in time for the show, it never showed in his action on stage and with the audience. He had no problem being able to keep up the pace, match the performance energy for evening, and give 100% of himself to everyone sharing the moment that evening. Kryz and Kopp were up to their usual antics in their playful enthusiasm for each song especially when Kopp left the keyboard and joined in on guitar.
They opened with Losing a Whole Year, click here for the rest of the setlist.
I may be speaking out of turn, when I say that we all felt like each band deserved its own encore. Thank you LovelyTheBand, BUSH, and Third Eye Blind! What a wonderful evening, incredible lineup, awesome venue, and unforgettable moments from each performance.