Jimmy Eat World

Brixton Academy, London on Tue 23rd Nov 2010

It's a strong testament to any band that over ten years after their first major album they can still sell out a venue the size of Brixton Academy. 'Clarity', released in early 1999, was the first major album from Jimmy Eat World and the band are currently in the midst of a European tour to support the latest album, Invented.

It seems as though every review of Jimmy Eat World ends up using the word "emo", and clearly this one is now no different. But, by way of a quick caveat, this is only to point out just how far removed from this tag the band are. Jimmy Eat World's music offers much more than we would generally associate with this genre, so much so that the word is hereby banned for the rest of the review.

Opening with the high-tempo 'Bleed American', the tone was set for the evening. In fact the whole set was probably 75% upbeat songs with the slower more, er, emotive, songs taking a back seat.

The stage was surprisingly understated, rather than the massive banners usually favoured, the only indication to the clueless observer that they were actually watching Jimmy Eat World was the band name written in small font on the drum kit. Instead the set was focussed around the lighting, used to superb effect when the slower songs were brought out. '23' is a beautiful song at the best of times, but performed live with the crowd singing along and the lights shadowing the band, it was hard not to be a little moved. The only song that came close to matching this was 'Hear You Me'.

After each slower track came something completely different to get the crowd going again, with 'Let It Happen' early on and later 'Futures' immediately followed by the equally big hitting 'Big Casino'.

Singer Jim Adkins (not the Jim related to the name you may be interested to know – this came from a row between the siblings of guitarist Tom Linton, where one, Ed, sought revenge on the other, Jim, by drawing a picture of Jim shoving the Earth into his mouth; the picture bore the caption "Jimmy eat world"), has one of those voices that sounds near perfect live. Even putting all the extra enthusiasm into the songs, it still sounded near perfect, a rare talent for a live performance.

The only negative point of the evening was the odd choice of track after the encore, 'Invented' is one of the much slower tracks and, while still a great song, is not the best to get a worked up crowd going again. Thankfully this was saved by the last three songs; arguably some of Jimmy Eat World's biggest. 'Get It Faster', followed by 'The Middle' and then for the final song of the night, what else but 'Sweetness'.

Throughout almost the whole gig one of the most notable things was that nearly everyone, from right at the front to the back by the bar, was singing along. Not in the "anthemic" way of say, Champagne Supernova, where you're hugging the stranger next to you and screaming the lyrics at the top of your voice, and certainly not that the Academy was full of people with far too much eyeliner, sobbing and trying to work out how to feel pain when their parents are so supportive, but in the way that everyone just "knew" the words. Maybe as they're all lifelong fans, or perhaps the lyrics struck a chord with everyone there. Whatever the reason, it's clear after tonight that Jimmy Eat World are still going strong and capable of putting on a really tight, thoroughly enjoyable live show.

Set list:

Bleed American
A Praise Chorus
My Best Theory
Coffee and Cigarettes
Let It Happen
For Me This Is Heaven
Big Casino
Action Needs An Audience
Your New Aesthetic
Hear You Me
Goodbye Sky Harbor

Get It Faster
The Middle

article by: Darren Willsher

published: 25/11/2010 10:33

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