As Third Eye Blind played at a charity show in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday night, the rock band seized on the opportunity to speak out against the conservative policies promoted by the Republican National Convention, which was taking place a mile down the road at the time.
According to Billboard, fans in the crowd at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum show greeted the band’s singer Stephan Jenkins with boos as he lectured the crowd on how he “repudiates” the current Republican agenda.
Jenkins responded to the crowd by saying, “You can boo all you want, but I’m the motherf—in’ artist up here,” before continuing to rip into a number of conservative issues.
As the band played one of their signature hits, 1998’s “Jumper,” Jenkins explained how the song — which he described in 2009 as being about a gay friend who killed himself by jumping off of a bridge — ultimately reflects his wish that the GOP would incorporate people “like [his] cousins who are gay into the American fabric.”
Afterward, Jenkins reportedly took another jab at conservative audience members when he told the crowd to “Raise your hand if you believe in science.”
Many of the show’s attendees took to social media to voice their displeasure with the band’s performance. When one fan tweeted at the band that she had “never been more disappointed,” the group’s official Twitter account responded with one word: “good.”
After the show, the band’s sound mixer tweeted that he was “happy” to have participated in a “troll of the RNC.”
Jenkins has a long history of speaking out against Republicans. Last year, in an interview with Rolling Stone, the singer criticised Marco Rubio and the field of Republican candidates for denying climate change.
In 2012, Third Eye Blind turned down an opportunity to play at that year’s Republican National Convention. Jenkins then wrote an op-ed for The Huffington Post titled, “Why We Aren’t Playing at the RNC,” in which he berated the Republican Party as being an entity “dedicated to exclusion.”
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