For those questioning the title, yes, Jimmy East World played more than just “Sweetness” on their stop in Charlotte, that’s sure and certain.
The Arizona natives are currently touring the country with both Incubus and Judah & the Lion – a big three of music as each band boasts headlining qualities of their own. Placed between the two, Jimmy Eat World follows up a raucous set from Judah & the Lion before preceding Incubus, one of the most iconic bands of the generation. It’s a tough spot for any band, but the alt rock foursome handled the task with ease and gave fans a taste of a true Jimmy Eat World show.
Moments before sunset, Jimmy Eat World took the stage to a filled pit and an amphitheatre that purchased tickets to see the four piece as much as they did any other bands. The group’s stage setup was adorned with two streetlights, reminiscent of the Integrity Blues cover art. In a sense, the red streetlights illuminated the five musicians on stage as the sun set over the pavilion, but the way frontman Jim Adkins bounced around, the streetlights struggled to keep up. From the get-go, Adkins showcased a lively side of himself that covered up any hints that Jimmy Eat World’s been doing “it” for over two decades.
Photos by Jared Allen
It was clear that Jimmy Eat World intended to jump-start the audience’s emotions with their song choices. “Sure and Certain” and “Bleed American” opened the set and had every fan on their feet. From there, the band cherry picked “I Will Steal You Back” and Big Casino” from Damage and Chase The Light respectively. The band’s song choices introduced a theme that carried on throughout the 15-song set list: Jimmy Eat World is more than just “The Middle.”
Jimmy Eat World bounced back and forth between old and new and there wasn’t a single point during the performance that anything felt “old.” As aforementioned, Jimmy Eat World has been band since 1993, but dare anyone say that this four piece continues to progress with age. Adkins’ liveliness continued and each song, whether it released in 2001 or 2016, felt fresh and new. Jimmy Eat World has always been a band that’s done a great job of not drastically changing their sound over the years.
The band has consistently evolved naturally and has fine tuned their craft along the way. The culmination of the band’s progression shines through with “Hear You Me,” a track from Bleed American. Adkins’ sounded just as swell as he did years ago and fans paid their respect throughout the song, clapping between stanzas.
It was one of the few times that the band slowed down. For the majority of the set, Jimmy Eat World rolled in fourth gear and showed just why there’s so much more to the band than just a few hit songs that most outsiders associate the band with. Sure, “Sweetness” and “The Middle” make for a great two-piece in the encore, but don’t forget to appreciate the 13 preceding songs.