• Thu, Apr 18, 2024

Third Eye Blind Live at Hard Rock Cafe, Mumbai

gig Reviews Dec 03, 01:45pm

BHANUJ KAPPAL As I saw a crowd of 20-something yuppies and alt-bros jumping along to Third


As I saw a crowd of 20-something yuppies and alt-bros jumping along to Third Eye Blind’s insipid hard rock-masquerading-as-alternative, all I could think was “Oh no, not again.”

As if that abysmal period in the late ’90s when MTV alternative flooded the airwaves hasn’t caused enough damage on these shores already. Any of you who have suffered through the hundreds of Indian bands trying to emulate Scott Stapp’s pseudo-Christ pose will know what I mean. And just when you think the Indian alternative scene has finally discovered a world beyond post-grunge, everyone goes ape-shit about some mediocre four single wonder whose only saving grace is that they sank to obscurity before the world woke up and realized that the whole thing was a con.

In a sense, Hard Rock Café, Mumbai was the perfect venue for this sort of nostalgia-fest. The franchise’s commitment to squeezing every last dollar out of the dead and bloated corpse of rock and roll is remarkable, and it never ceases to amaze me how many people will pay good money to have their intelligence and taste insulted by these cultural scavengers. But maybe I’m giving the HRC clientele too much credit. Either way, the club was packed with people who paid 2000 bucks or more for the chance to revisit a childhood where they used to sing along to tripe like –

“I want something else, I'm not listening when you say good-bye
I believe in the sand beneath my toes,”

– because, frankly, they didn’t know any better.

And those people got their money’s worth. The set list included pretty much all the songs that the fans wanted to hear – ‘Semi-Charmed Life’, ‘Motorcycle Driveby’, ‘God of Wine’, ‘Jumper’ – and the crowd happily sang along. The bad sound at the start of the set didn’t seem to have any effect on the crowd’s enthusiasm, which I suspect was at least partially fuelled by the free vodka shots being distributed near the door. Stephan Jenkins and company hammed it up to the full, with a stage act full of the pomp and swagger of middling indie musicians who get to act like rock stars again for an audience blind to the many flaws in their songwriting. There was probably an encore or two as well, but I didn’t have it in me to wait around and find out. I think it was at the point where Jenkins made a huge deal of taking off his shirt and was rewarded with giddy screams from the women in the audience that I realized that RSJ is not going to cover the therapy sessions (No, we are not – Ed) I’d need if I had to endure this travesty any longer.

On the plus side, Guns N Roses suddenly has competition for the title of the worst international act to come to Mumbai this year. Good on you, Axl.  





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