Third Eye Blind Booed Heartily During Taunting RNC Show
'Who here believes in science?'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2016 5:07 PM CDT
Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind performs in 2014.   (Photo by Katie Darby/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – As if this election year couldn't get any stranger, Third Eye Blind is relevant again after taunting a largely Republican audience at a charity gig Tuesday in Cleveland. The band, playing in support of Musicians on Call at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was loudly booed throughout its performance—apparently by design, Mic reports. The boos rained down after singer Stephan Jenkins promoted acceptance and tolerance and asked "Who here believes in science?" “You can boo all you want," Billboard quotes Jenkins as saying to the crowd. In a statement, Third Eye Blind said it knew a lot of Republican National Convention attendees would be in the audience. “We ... repudiate every last stitch of the RNC platform and the grotesque that is their nominee," the band says in its statement.

The trolling didn't stop with the between-song banter. Instead of playing its hits—like 1997's "Semi-Charmed Life"—Third Eye Blind mostly stuck with deep cuts, such as "Non-Dairy Creamer" from 2009, CNN reports. That song includes the phrase "two gay Republicans" repeatedly, and criticizes the Iraq War. The one hit the band did play was 1998's "Jumper," which is about Jenkins' gay friend who committed suicide. “To love this song is to take into your heart the message and to actually have a feeling to arrive and move forward and not live your life in fear and imposing that fear on other people," he told the crowd. Upset audience members took to Twitter to express their disappointment, but they could have seen it coming: Third Eye Blind turned down an offer to perform at a GOP event during the 2012 RNC, calling it a "party dedicated to exclusions."