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A new generation discovers nostalgia as Third Eye Blind, Dashboard Confessional attract big Uptown crowd

Hundreds of couples in their 20s and 30s reminisced Monday about simpler times at the Uptown Theater.

A concert by Third Eye Blind and Dashboard Confessional allowed members of the audience of 2,200 to wax nostalgic about a time in their lives that was free of worries about mortgages, babysitters and health insurance.

The San Francisco-based rock band Third Eye Blind had a rash of hits in the late 1990s. Florida’s Dashboard Confessional brought emo-rock to the mainstream in the subsequent decade.

Along with opening act Augustana, the ensembles attracted a remarkably large crowd for bands that haven’t had a substantial hit in more than 10 years.

Accompanied by a three-piece backing band, the tattooed troubadour Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional performed unflaggingly earnest songs for 70 minutes.

After outgrowing punk-oriented venues like Kansas City’s El Torreon, Carrabba was once poised to become one of the brightest stars in popular music. Yet Carrabba has elected not to release new material under the banner of Dashboard Confessional since 2009.

An angelic choir of altos and sopranos in the audience accompanied Carrabba on “Ghost of a Good Thing.” Fans also sang along as Carrabba characterized himself as “a walking open wound” on a heartfelt reading of “Saints and Sailors.”

Alex Kopp, the keyboardist of Third Eye Blind, joined Dashboard Confessional for a celebratory rendition of the 2004 hit “Vindicated.”

Kopp is one of five men in the current incarnation of Third Eye Blind. Stephan Jenkins, the sole original member, still has an inviting voice and knack for crafting memorable mainstream rock songs even though his band’s commercial heyday is in the past.

Just as Third Eye Blind supplanted melodic groups like Hootie & the Blowfish in the late 1990s, the likes of Matchbox Twenty have since outflanked Third Eye Blind.

Jenkins isn’t giving up without a fight. He repeatedly touted the sturdy songs on his band’s new “Dopamine” album. “Rites of Passage” is almost as catchy as the band’s 1997 breakthrough song “Semi-Charmed Life,” one of the most graphic ditties about drug abuse to become a major hit.

While musically unadventurous, clever twists including a robust cover of Beyoncé’s “Mine” deterred monotony in Third Eye Blind’s 90-minute set.

Jenkins made a strong case for the relevance of his band, but the night was steeped in nostalgia. Although the audience sang along with the refrain “put the past away” during a rendition of Third Eye Blind’s 1998 hit “Jumper,” they clearly didn’t endorse the sentiment.

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