It’s taken me a couple of weeks to write this post. Part of that’s because I’m lazy, but also because I’m a bit of a Jimmy Eat World obsessive. I’ve been a fan for years but the point’s been reached where I’m not entirely convinced with their studio output. I own everything they’ve done, apart from the latest album. A good comparison is the Foo Fighters – the first 3 albums are classics to my mind, which meant I bought the next few just hoping they’d live up to the previous standard. In my mind Jimmy’s last good album was Futures, but I’ve carried on buying the rest of their output just in case. This all made me a bit apprehensive about the gig in Bristol’s O2 Academy.
This wasn’t helped by the Shimmer Band. Whilst they weren’t bad, they seemed to be an inappropriate support for a band with punk roots (even if those roots go a long way into the past). A few things undermined their show – they had a big atmospheric intro, which led up to them nicely tuning their guitars and getting to their places, which completely ruined the tension that was built up. And the music itself struck me as a safer Kasabian – a bit of a sub BRMC.
Jimmy opened with I Will Steal You Back (at the top of this blog), which generally got my excited for their new album when it was released (only for that to go pear-shaped by Damage, which offered little in my mind). It was a nicely paced set, which built up throughout. The crowd predictably were most excited for Futures and Bleed American material (especially The Middle, which the crowd went apoplectic for when it closed the set).
What Jimmy have always done well is to offer memorable moments in every show I’ve seen. When I saw them twice in Reading a few years ago, they did a poppy set on the main stage, then a set of material they’d never normally play on the Lock Up Stage. When I last saw them in Bristol’s O2, they played a full version of Goodbye Sky Harbor (unfortunately it was the abridged version at this show, which is still pretty amazing). And at this gig Jim played a great acoustic version of For Me This is Heaven.
So studio wise they may not be at the top of their game, but in terms of a live show they’re still amazing.