PICTURED: Third Eye Blind performs for Concerts in Your Car on July 25.

by Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

 

Third Eye Blind drummer Brad Hargreaves is excited to perform again on one condition: He looks out at a mask-wearing crowd. 

“I have this vision of the first show that we get to play again will be us walking on stage and seeing a sea of people in masks or face coverings,” Hargreaves says. 

“As long as I see that, I’ll feel quite comfortable playing up there. It’s been proven to work — wear a mask, wash your hands and practice social distancing. This is controllable. So many countries have figured this out. Now it’s America’s turn to figure it out.”

Known for its hits “Semi-Charmed Life,” “How’s It Going to Be” and “Jumper,” Third Eye Blind will headline a drive-in concert in the round on July 25 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. The show starts at 8 p.m.; the first cars are allowed in at 6:30 p.m. 

The event will offer room for 600 cars and is designed to comply with all official restrictions. The combination of an extra-high, four-sided stage and five oversized screens will ensure that every seat is the best seat in the house. Sound will be distributed via FM radio. Tickets are sold in advance and online only and are priced starting at $59 per car with up to five people per vehicle. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Food Share, Ventura County’s largest food bank.

“I’m very excited to play,” Hargreaves says. “This is the longest stretch Third Eye Blind has gone in 25 years without playing. We haven’t even gotten together and rehearsed or recorded. 

“This will be the first time we’ve seen each other since the day our March concert was canceled — the day the country shut down all at once. It was like watching dominoes fall down.”

Hargreaves doesn’t understand why some folks refuse to wear masks, but he has a theory. 

“We have a divisive president and he politicized the only effective means we have of controlling the virus: wearing a mask,” he says. “It’s a real shame. We don’t have any national leadership, in terms of leading the pandemic fight. Corporations have had to take over. Walmart just mandated it. Costco already had.”

Performers like Brad Paisley and Keith Urban have performed drive-in concerts, where the music is piped in through the car’s radio. Fans honked their horns instead of clapping for an encore. 

“It’s going to be interesting,” Hargreaves says. “People can park 360 degrees around the stage. I like the idea of that. I love the people and this promoter. They’re trying to go out there and provide an experience and a little bit of levity for people who are struggling with this now. It’s an important time to get back out there and feel normal. It’ll be great to do my job and have fun.”

Hargreaves says he’s been practicing drums frequently, and that lead singer Stephan Jenkins and the band were working on new songs before the pandemic hit. 

“The songs are building off of what we did on our last record,” he says of 2019’s Screamer. “We did demos of them in Florida in January and they’re taking shape. They’re definitely Third Eye Blind. You know it if you hear it.”

Third Eye Blind headlines Concerts in Your Car on Saturday, July 25, at 8 p.m. at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, 10 W. Harbor Blvd., Ventura. For tickets and more information, visit www.concertsinyourcar.com.