Let’s throw it back, ya’ll.
Friday, July 14th – Third Eye Blind
Nostalgia is a powerful thing – it grips us and takes us back to a time when things seemed simpler, and maybe even a little bit better. But nostalgia is best when it meets the present moment, the one we get to enjoy right here, right now. I think that’s what happened on Friday night at the Third Eye Blind show, and I think that’s why everyone in the building walked away so excited. I know I did.
After an energetic opening set by up and comer Ocean Park Standoff, Silversun Pickups took the stage and jammed a full, hour long set that had the crowd bumping. Silversun Pickups frontman Brian Aubert has such an interesting voice – it’s rough and a little grizzly at times, but can also hit clean and clear high notes. When paired with quick drums, memorable bass hooks and mesmerizing guitar riffs, it creates a unique and timeless sound. We hope you were there early enough to catch it.
I won’t lie, though – the highlight of this night was Third Eye Blind. The San Francisco rock band, known largely for their epic run of music in the 90’s, put on a show that outreached every expectation in the building. They opened their set playing behind a massive curtain. The moment the curtain dropped was a hair-raising one, revealing the band in harmony with bright lights shining.
The band played a few of their newer songs and the crowd was immediately into it. I saw feet-tapping, mini-jigs, and plenty of singing along. 3EB’s songs are catchy, hard-rocking, and perfectly appropriate for a July night under the stars in Texas. The biggest moment of the night – a turning point – came when frontman Stephan Jenkins let the audience know that Friday night, the 20th Anniversary of their first album, would be a different kind of night:
“In a couple of minutes, we’re gonna come back out here, and we’re gonna play that first album front to back.”
They did. And it was awe-inspiring. It wasn’t nostalgia that drove the band and audience to such great heights though – it was like everyone at The Pavilion was creating something new together, something with roots in the beauty of the past.
3EB played some of their biggest hits – “Jumper” and “Semi-Charmed Life” – and the crowd loved it. But they were just as excited about the love for the music that the band was so clearly showing on-stage. It didn’t even matter what song was playing – everyone just knew it meant a lot to be there. Especially the band. Jenkins seemed genuinely appreciative that so many people had come out, and that they were so excited about being there: “I don’t think I can express how good it feels to be right here, right now.”
After letting the crowd know that this kind of night wouldn’t happen ever again and emphasizing the beauty of a live band with no backing tracks, Jenkins led the band through a blazing encore set. They closed out the album with a wild round of applause, and everyone walked away a little better for having been there.
Wednesday, July 19th – The Composer is Dead with The Houston Symphony
It turns out storytelling is pretty important in the world of music, too.
Wednesday’s show started well beforehand when The Pavilion’s gates opened to the public for free ice cream sundaes ( big thanks to Fidelity and Cochran’s Crossing Marble Slab for their donation). Fans and families filed through our gates to enjoy a delicious treat. One of my favorite things about our fine arts events is looking around the North Plaza before a show. Kids are crafting, families are laughing together, and everyone is genuinely happy to be there. It feels like a community and The Pavilion feels like the right place to host that community.
A few hundred sundaes later, The Houston Symphony took the stage to present a wonderful program based on the value of a great story. Conductor Jason Seber told the audience the mythical tales behind the first few pieces the symphony played. He helped the audience envision dancing kings, mystical Firebirds and several other classic tales.
My favorite part of the night, though, was when acclaimed actor Damon Gupton joined Seber onstage to narrate “The Composer is Dead.” This tale of murder and mystery came to life with the character-driven voice of Gupton and the sounds of the symphony. The audience laughed hysterically as the story poked fun at violins and violas and accused trumpets and trombones of heinous crimes.
This show was tailored to kids and I think they might have enjoyed the night most of. Whether they were munching on ice cream, making paper tambourines to their heart’s delight, or laughing at the goofy guys on stage, they were having a blast.
The Pavilion is a perfect place for families to gather and Wednesday night helped remind us of that. There’s nothing quite like unforgettable summer fun under a Pavilion sun.
Here’s What’s Next at The Pavilion:
Saturday, July 22: 94.5 The Buzz Bud Light Weenie Roast – Get Tickets
Friday, July 28: Nickelback with Daughtry and Shaman’s Harvest – Get Tickets
Saturday, July 29: REO Speedwagon and Styx with Don Felder – Get Tickets