Have you ever been so passionate about a specific band or artist that your love for them has either moved you to tears or prompted you to thank God for their existence? (If you believe in a God, that is.) Music that is so gorgeous it actually surpasses “beauty” and touches your heart and soul? Well, Jimmy Eat World has done all of that to me (and on more than one occasion.) In the past, with their songs blasting on my car stereo, I have literally had to pull over to the side of the road and thank God for letting them “be” – and for giving them to ME!
(After a couple huge bong hits before leaving my house) I had the pleasure of joining Jimmy Eat World for a free show (and Super Bowl festivities) at the Key Club last Sunday, which was hosted by KROQ. The show was a last minute surprise, just announced by the radio station two days prior. As a matter of fact, the band flew in the night before from Portugal just to play for all of us eager, die-hard fans. The venue was busting at the seams with people having a great time, and the boys took the stage five minutes after the game was over. Starting it off with their eye-opening hit “Bleed American” I knew they were about to completely ROCK the house!
They look just like the wholesome boys next door, and are so friendly and fun with pure energy on stage. They are a hard working group of guys who enjoy what they do. But the best thing about the J.E.W. boys is that it is clear they love their audience equally as much as we love them. Singer/guitarist Jim Adkins even snatched a camera from someone in the audience and took a close up shot on stage with it before giving it back to her. That man will take your breath away with his vocals and the passion demonstrated in his performance. His lyrics are so deep, clever and compelling, that, in my book, he can only be compared to a young Robert Smith (The Cure) of our generation. Chills will run up your spine when guitarist Tom Linton harmonizes with Jim, especially during their enchanting emo ballads. Drummer Zach Lind won't strike you as the fantastic drummer that he is at first glance. He isn't flashy, he doesn't do any tricks, but he can certainly hit those drums hard and solid and precise. Rick Burch plays his bass like he's having the time of his life, constant grin on his face, working up a sweat. Occasionally Rachel Haden (formerly of That Dog) will come out on stage to sing some back up vocals and play keyboard and tambourine. She had an exceptionally good night last Sunday and I truly enjoyed her contribution to the group. They played for over an hour, their set list ranging from their new self-titled album on DreamWorks, as well as many songs from their previous release titled “Clarity” on Capitol.
They just keep getting better every time I see them live. One of the highlights of my entire life was having had the opportunity to witness an intimate, unplugged performance with them for me and my coworkers in our conference room office where I work. They are such gracious fellas and seem so innocent in this industry full of ego-twisted “rock stars”. I will go see them live every chance I get, I've even traveled to their home town of Phoenix, AZ to see them perform.
Think their name is weird? I found out from Jim and Tom themselves where it came from, and it really has nothing to do with “Jim Adkins” himself, as some people assume. The two grew up together and Tom has a younger brother named Jimmy. When they were little, brother Jimmy was often teased for being obese (we know how cruel kids can be sometimes) and the other kids would tell him “Jimmy, you're so fat you could eat the whole world.” This phrase stuck with Jim Adkins and Tom Linton as they grew older and they knew their band could be called nothing else.
A chunk of years back when I first discovered all that is Jimmy Eat World, they just filled my ears with magic. And they were mine, all mine – no one ever heard of them when they'd ask me, “What are you listening to?!” I think every music lover has had this experience – the certain satisfaction of when an amazing band is your special secret, and they are yours to share with the lucky person of your choice. Currently, Jimmy Eat World is enjoying accelerating success thanks to their dedicated label DreamWorks. Although I am ecstatic that they have come so far and are doing so well, part of me is sad that they aren't “mine” anymore. Now their shows are always packed and their songs are all over radio and television, and it will only get better for them. Today, Jimmy Eat World belongs to THE WORLD. So get on the bandwagon! If you enjoy emo pop/rock with a punk edge, glorious melodies, and ingenious lyrics, please buy their album “Clarity ” right away. When you're ready to graduate to another Jimmy Eat World album, buy their self-titled DreamWorks debut. Once you're completely in love, I recommend their split EP with Australian band Jebediah, and then their debut Capitol release titled “Static Prevails“.
Final note – my favorite lyrical phrase of all time is from the Jimmy Eat World Song “Ten” on their “Clarity” release: “Our weakness is the same, we need poison…sometimes. So take another drink, with me…”
This phrase can mean many things to many people. Actually, Jimmy Eat World is my ANTIDOTE for all that is poison in my world. They just encourage me to LIVE LIFE. More than enough said – go buy their records right now!!!!