Jimmy Eat World: A Story in Pictures

Sunday night, I went to my first venue in San Francisco,

Warfield bannerto see none other than (drumroll….!):


I gotta admit: The Warfield is beautiful. The shady exterior hides a magnificent theater which blends the grandness of The Riviera (my favorite venue in Chicago) with the intelligent design of The Marquee (my all-time favorite venue in Tempe, AZ. It’s not why I love it, but you can’t argue with having a bar on the main floor so concertgoers don’t have to miss any music in order to get a drink). For someone who would prefer alcohol be banned at concerts (it would drastically reduce dickishness), I was amazed to count a total of 6 bars in The Warfield– and I still feel like I missed one.

Before the show, there was the usual anticipation roiling my gut:

I love this!

After Matt Pond played for 30 minutes, the crew reset the stage. At exactly 9 p.m., Jimmy Eat World walked on, and with a brief introduction and absolutely no fanfare (beyond our screaming), they opened with “I Will Steal You Back,” from their latest album, Damage (2013).

All photos: Nicholas Green

After an amazing reconstruction of their catalogue of hits, I was astonished to hear an acoustic solo version of my all-time favorite Jimmy Eat World song, “For Me This is Heaven.” Not only do they seem to be the only remaining band who still add unique flourishes to their live shows, they forwent the famous looping on “Goodbye Sky Harbor” and did a different take. Great reconfiguration. The moshing really exploded with “A Praise Chorus,” and of course, the joyous call-and-response of “The Sweetness.” Other highlights included “Authority Song,” “Always Be,” and “Let It Happen.”

After much applause and catcalling, they returned to the stage with the beautiful “Chase This Light,” before stilling me yet again with “23.” (They get me every time.)

During "23."
During “23.”

Jim Adkins expressed gratitude a million times (“Thank you sooo much for coming out to see us; it’s been a long time since we’ve been here so it means a lot”), before ending with, “This one’s for all of you.” Then came “The Middle.”

It’s not the same seeing Jimmy Eat World outside their hometown of AZ, but they always bring it. Their humbleness, their sincerity, their hard work, and the joy they bring to their lives, the music, make them an all-time favorite.

I love these guys.

2 thoughts on “Jimmy Eat World: A Story in Pictures

  1. Sadly haven’t seen JEW this year, or last year, but you’re right— always an A-game band. Each performance is crafted for the audience and I don’t think I’ve ever not enjoyed my time with them. Songs that are so ambient, yet ambience is pushed into overdrive live. Highlights for me were always 23, table for glasses and kill. Glad you enjoyed!

    1. Great choices! I too love “Table for Glasses” (which sadly they did not play, nor any Tom songs), but “Kill,” was of course, killer. I am always impressed at how they craft the setlist– as a fan, it’s wonderfully frustrating that they change things up throughout tour, given that most bands stick to the same songs every night. You are right: from driving, hard-rocking choruses to sweeping, epic melodies, they really know how to create an ambiance that becomes a whole different experience live. Since each album has a different texture, it was great seeing how songs throughout their catalogue slid into one another, or how tracks from the same album were reordered to create a whole new experience. They are so earnest, every time. One of the best, most hard-working bands on the planet. (Love your e-mail, by the way. As you may have guessed, that is my favorite album from The Ataris. I’d love it if you did a guest post– maybe a Friday Mixtape?)

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