When I go to see Jimmy Eat World, I am there for them, and all I want is some Jimmy. Due to this issue, I usually have major problems with JEW’s opening acts. No offense to the many great openers they’ve had over the years, it’s just that my need for JEW gets pretty intense, especially since for this particular show, I’d flown from Chicago for the last night of their North American tour.
With that being out in the open, I now feel comfortable telling how I responded to the two opening acts that night, No Knife and The Donnas. I went into the show with no prior No Knife knowledge, but they surpassed my expectations and I even found myself enjoying their set! And not only because Jim from JEW joined the band to sing on the fifth song they played, “Charming.” “Charming” was probably my favorite song they played that night and it was definitely the one that got the crowd most excited. This song really stood out from the rest of the songs, that at times, seemed to blend together into one continuous song. The set was easily digestible and enjoyable, which, coming from me at JEW, is high praise. I’d definitely check out their music and see them if they came to my town. Other songs in their set included “Permanent for Now,” “Academy Flight,” “The Red Bedroom,” “Angel Bomb,” “Flechette,” “This Moon life,” and “Riot for Romance.”
The Donnas were up next and I was curious to see them since I’m seeing them with Alkaline Trio soon. I’m familiar with a few of their songs and after seeing them, and then attempting to listen to their albums, I’ve come to a conclusion. While The Donnas are loads of fun live, I can’t just sit and listen to them in my room unless I’m all hyped up. Their live show blew me away. The girls had so much energy and were so excited that their moods were contagious. The crowd was bouncing and dancing from the opening “R U Gonna Move It?” to the closing “Get Skintight.” They played very well and I think the drummer is now my idol. Her bouncing energy amazed the crowd (the boys around me kept cheering for her). The band played a few new songs from their forthcoming album “The Donnas Spend The Night” that sounded absolutely rad. My favorite songs from their fast, hard-hitting set were “Crush On Me, “Who Invited You? “ and “Get Skintight.” Other songs in their set were “Do You Wanna hit it?” “On the Rox,” “Take me to the Backseat,” “Hyperactive,” “Too bad About Your Gin” (I believe this is the title, the set list was hard to read), “Midnite Snack,” “I Didn’t Like You,” “Take it Off,” and “All Messed Up.” The Donnas easily won the most energetic band of the night award.
Finally, time for Jimmy Eat World. The set was pretty much the same as when they played Chicago in August, but as far as I’m concerned, JEW could play one song continuously for two hours and I’d still be able to die happy after one of their shows. Not that I’m biased or anything. The band opened with “A Praise Chorus” which was excellent even without the assistance of Davey from the Promise Ring the way it had been earlier in the tour. “Bleed American” was taken care of next, whipping the crowd into an absolute frenzy. The passion that the band displays is unsurpassable in my opinion. Every song manages to break me in half so that by the time I leave, I always feel emotionally exhausted. “Your New Aesthetic” and “Blister" were up next, further demonstrating that Clarity is quite possibly one of the most perfect CDs of our time. JEW’s execution was flawless, and the crowd pressed to the barrier, attempting to get as close to perfection as possible. The band threw themselves into every song so much that you would’ve never been able to tell that they’ve been on tour supporting this album for almost a year and a half non-stop.
“If You Don’t, Don’t” came next, but the song that came after that can always be described as nothing less than pure bliss. That’s right; “For Me This is Heaven” came next. Massive breaking occurred within my body at this point. The song, paired with the perfect lighting effects of massive numbers of Christmas lights and stars was almost too much to handle. After that song I always feel so weak that I don’t know if I’ll be able to continue, but with the beginnings of “On a Sunday” I was revived. Followed by “Call it in the Air” I was back in the game. “Get it Faster” and “Lucky Denver Mint” kept the crowd going before breaking us down again with “Just Watch the Fireworks.” JEW shows are like an emotional roller coaster and the band brought everyone right back up with “Authority Song” making me want to put on some dancing shoes. The show then took another plunge with “No Sensitivity.” This song is quite the break-up song and with the change in lyrics to “I thought it was obvious, so fucking obvious,” the heartbreak is amplified one thousand times. By this point, fragments of me were all over the venue, but we regrouped for “The Middle.” I don’t care that this is “the radio song,” I think its positively inspiring and an instant mood lifter.
The band then left for the encore, returning with “My Sundown.” The lighting behind Jim made him look almost angelic and this song just completely melted the song. The mellow vibe continued with “Goodbye Sky Harbor.” Not a band to leave the crowd down in the dumps, Jimmy Eat World closed it out with “Sweetness.” I still can’t figure out why the “when you kiss me” line was cut for the album version, that line always kills me. All in all, the band really seemed to be enjoying the show and appeared truly grateful for their success. My million still broken pieces can’t think of any band that deserves it more.