Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Wednesday January 18, 2017 :
A good gathering had already formed for the Newcastle-based openers, Trophy Eyes. It took a little while for the crowd to warm to the Australian punk band, but by the last few songs, including single ‘Chlorine’, they had bodies moving and heads bouncing. You could definitely sense that they would benefit from a smaller venue, and I would expect nothing but good times for their upcoming Chemical Miracle Tour throughout February this year.
Jimmy Eat World are a well-oiled machine. You don’t stay together as a band for this long without knowing what you are doing. They feel like the kind of band that would have very few bad shows under their belt, they don’t get selfish and play the brand new album back to back. They played a generous ratio of old to new songs from their last 23 years of tunes to an enthusiastic Enmore crowd. Fists were pumping in the air to the 1999 single ‘Blister’, however emo teen anthem ‘Hear You Me’ was notably missing from the set list. The girl next to me yelling out for it in between songs left desperate.
JEW finished their encore with ‘The Sweetness’, which had arms being thrown around friends throughout the crowd, and the band was almost pushed to do a further encore from the eager calls of Sydney fans. Front man Jim Adkins’ vocals have remained strangely youthful (aren’t you 41 now?), and though backing vocals were pitchy at times, it didn’t distract too much from the performance, as each member of the band comfortably holds their own.
From their performance in Sydney and the varied age and demographics of the crowd you can tell that Jimmy Eat World are the kind of band everyone would enjoy live. They are musically rock-solid and have the ability to get dark and heavy with instrument layering and experimentation, with Adkins often messing around in solos and intros, especially in ‘Bleed American’. Whilst still keeping their upbeat emotional punk roots, they also kind of look like a band of hot drama teachers onstage, but in a good way. I also find myself getting nostalgic and remembering songs from their catalogue I thought I had forgotten about, the guys know how to pump out a good sing along tune about unrequited love or an ex after all.