Sunday night, I went to my first venue in San Francisco,
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:
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).
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.”
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.