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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Third Eye Blind's SXSW Show Drew Huge Crowd, Was Shut Down By Cops

Posted By on Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 10:48 AM

The crowd at Third Eye Blind's Friday-night SXSW showcase. - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • The crowd at Third Eye Blind's Friday-night SXSW showcase.

In case you think you're the only one who furtively savors "Semi-Charmed Life" or "Jumper" or any other tunes from S.F. pop-rock '90s breakout Third Eye Blind, let us assure you: You aren't.

See, for example, the band's Friday night showcase at this year's South by Southwest conference, which took place at an outdoor venue on Fifth street in downtown Austin -- and conveniently, across the street from a multistory parking garage. Third Eye Blind began playing to a not-full crowd, but the audience quickly grew. Security stopped letting people into the venue, so onlookers piled up along the major thoroughfare. Meanwhile, smarter viewers climbed up into the parking garage for an arena perspective.

Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins onstage in Austin. - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins onstage in Austin.
As things progressed, the audience completely blocked the street to cars. And since so many streets in downtown Austin are already blocked off for SXSW, it was kind of a big deal. Here's what it looked like from above: The whole thing teetered on the brink of chaos for about 35 minutes, after which police shut the whole thing down, allowing the band to play only one more song. The band didn't even have time to get to "Semi-Charmed Life" -- and if it had, the collective energy of so many people enjoying a guilty pleasure might've caused a riot. -- @iPORT
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Ian S. Port


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