Sunday, November 18, 2007

Concert Review: Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World played at the Electric Factory to a sold-out crowd on Saturday, November 10th, on tour for their new album, Chase This Light. I was wondering what the setlist was going to be like – would they cater to the new album, or please the older fans with time-honored favorites? Typically, they do a nice mix of both, and I was hoping this would prove to be no exception. I got far more than I bargained for – maybe because it was Jim Adkins’ birthday, or maybe because they know Philadelphia loves them – we got a treat that was a setlist full of old and new songs, culminating in an amazing encore.

When they opened with “Big Casino,” the radio hit off their new album, I knew we were in for a good show. With plenty of room for all my favorite songs, they dove right in with “A Praise Chorus” – I had an immediate twinge, because at the end of that song, on the album, Davey Von Bohlen sings some of the lyrics. I was lucky enough to see them tour years ago with The Promise Ring and hear Davey come out and sing, and this time around, they were touring with Maritime, Davey’s new band. However, Maritime branched out to do their own solo tour right before they got to Philly, and Viva Voce is opening for them now. Luckily, Viva Voce is awesome, and fills in for Maritime well!

The rest of the set did not disappoint. They played several songs from Futures, including “Crush,” “Work,” “23,” and “Kill.” I was surprised to hear “Get It Faster,” a Bleed American song I had yet to hear live, and I was utterly thrilled to hear “For Me This Is Heaven,” “Lucky Denver Mint,” and “No Sensitivity” – the last one of which is from a split with the band Jebediah, and while I’ve heard it played before, I didn’t expect to hear it on this tour, with all the new songs they have in their repertoire. It was absolutely a show for the hardcore fans.

The band was obviously into the show – they were lively and bouncing around the stage. It felt great to see the band and the crowd so into it. Everyone was singing along and dancing. There was so much positive energy in the old warehouse! I was so grateful that we had managed to get tickets to the show. (A note to the show-goer: if you are ever in a situation where a show you want to go to is sold out, constantly check Ticketmaster as it gets closer and closer! Ticket sellers who can’t sell the tickets at the high prices they ask for them frequently sell them back to Ticketmaster, where you can then buy them at regular price.)

Quite possibly the most wonderful part of the show was when they came out for the encore. They opened that with a rendition of “Your House” I had never heard before, making it even more beautiful. Then, they played “Hear You Me,” a touching song off Bleed American that is rarely played. Following that was “Polaris” off of Futures, and, of course, no Jimmy Eat World concert would be the same without Sweetness. The final song, and one which Jim introduced as the one that is their most punk song, was The Middle. The entire crowd was singing along with them. It was the perfect choice to end the set.

Jimmy Eat World continues to delight fans, both with their albums and their live shows. Chase This Light is a great chapter in the book that is their success. I highly recommend purchasing it, and all of their other albums, and I also urge you to see them the next time they are in town!

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