ForThird Eye Blind
and its team, working quickly to announce rescheduled dates just one day after being forced to cancel its entire tour was important to give fans hope that amidst all of the fear and tragedy with the COVID-19 outbreak, things will get better.
Micromgmt’s Missi Callazzo noted that following fans on social media, “you could feel their depression and isolation, watching everything get canceled. We were in a position where we could go out and get this rescheduled right away, and give people light at the end of the tunnel.”
“Third Eye Blind’s fanbase is very young … [the COVID-19 pandemic] might be their first national tragedy. … It's not me saying that rescheduling a Third Eye Blind show is going to change all the problems in the world, that’s not it – but it’s showing people that there is a future. … [Live music is something] that gives people reason to be alive and a reason to flourish.”
Callazzo, whose management company is based in New York City, recalled watching the World Trade Center fall and seeing all these things “that were kind of unthinkable happen. And what do you do? You keep going, so we felt like it was the right sign to people not that we’re canceling, we’re just rescheduling. Here are the dates, here’s something to look forward to.”
Third Eye Blind’s “Screamer Tour Part 2” was originally supposed to kick off March 11 at the Showbox in Seattle but earlier in the day Wednesday Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced a ban in three counties of gatherings featuring more than 250 people. At that point, a few major events like SXSW and Coachella had been called off because of COVID-19, but Pearl Jam was the only band to postpone a tour. Third Eye Blind had started tour pre-production on March 1, moving buses, trucks and gear across the country and brought the band and crew to Seattle. The group planned to go ahead with the next stop, a March 12 show at Portland, Ore.’s Roseland Theater, while considering plans to implement social distancing measures at its meet-and-greets, but soon came to the realization that the entire tour needed to be rescheduled.
“It was kind of overwhelming to see how fast [the situation] moved and how hard we were all trying to get information and understand the level of this,” Jenkins told Pollstar March 16, while chatting in his kitchen in San Francisco, hours before a “shelter in place” order was issued for residents in the Bay Area.
“My drummer Brad he was like ‘What do we want?’ And it really came down to, this is real, and it’s murky and it’s because it’s viral it grows exponentially. So the answer is, we want to be part of the solution and not the spread. And that was like, ‘OK, there’s the policy. We’re canceling this tour.’ ... We actually moved into a state of clarity, right there in that moment.”
The postponement marked the first time Third Eye Blind had called off a gig in 22 years, having only canceled one show in its entire career. Callazzo points out that Third Eye Blind never cancels shows, even when Jenkins was sick and lying in bed for most of the day during the fall 2019 tour, because of the obligation he feels toward fans.
The “Screamer Part 2 Tour,” with special guest Saves The Day on select dates, is now set to begin May 31 at the Wiltern in Los Angeles, with dates booked through July.
“Once we could start to see the writing on the wall, our agent is Dave Tamaroff at WME, he’s got an amazing work ethic first of all, and second of all, he went to work right away,” Callazzo says about how the tour was rescheduled so quickly.
Callazzo explains that the team made an educated guess about the date span for the routing by consulting with some venues, talking internally at WME and looking at the timeline in China to estimate how long it took for the country to get back up and running. She adds, “We all came to the conclusion starting May 31 felt like it should be a time that hopefully everything would be clear and ready for people to go back out.”
Jenkins acknowledged that it’s possible the tour will have to be moved back once again “because of the criminal incompetence of this administration.”
He began the interview by noting, “I just want to get this said at the top of this because this is Pollstar and the touring industry. We had early warnings of this virus. And it was ignored and downplayed by Trump because he was worried about what it would do to markets and stock markets are what he can hold on to for electibility.
“Instead of actively [addressing] a pandemic, he said it’s a hoax and ... it’s all going to go away, it’s all going to pass like a miracle etc. We knew [COVID-19] was happening early and we had in place because of ebola, a department in the White House that was set up just to monitor and react to viral pandemics. And Trump disbanded that. …
“And the second thing is this is a pandemic and there is no national plan. We are doing these things with states where we’re kind of doing this and that, a few states got together and said we’re going to close down restaurants, and individual companies like Patagonia, Nike and Apple closed down until further notice. But we need a federal protocol. … Specific actions by this president have impacted the touring industry. … The idea that somehow this con man is pro-business is ludicrous. Ludicrous! He’s pro-Trump. Could we have avoided this happening? No, but we could have mitigated it.”
That being said, Jenkins remains positive about the rescheduled tour.
“Immune systems are helped by positivity and hope and so we’re being optimistic that we can venture out [May 31],” Jenkins says.
“You can also lower your immune system. It’s like fear and worry and anxiety are kind of the exact opposite of vitamin D. I don't advocate fear but I think that we should acknowledge that [COVID-19] is potentially life and death. There's this real confluence of you have to take individual responsibility. That means taking care of your health and hygiene. We all know what those things are – wash your hands and wash down surfaces. And stay hydrated.”
As for social distancing and the impact on the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, Jenkins says, “It's kind of an interesting thing where the needs of individuals and the needs of the group all actually come together. [COVID-19] is really dangerous and serious and I think that it’s also this opportunity to kind of evolve in our way of thinking. … It’s in every country. We are actually connected to each other and I think that as terrible as this all is, there’s something positive that can come out of that realization.”
Lastly, Jenkins says fans should stay tuned for a streaming performance.