Where: Troxy, London
Reading rock band The Amazons open the night with their understated, guitar-led alternative anthems. They’ve got great potential with some solid tunes played tonight, but it doesn’t excite us in a live arena; with some work on their stage presence, The Amazons could be a cool, fresh rock ’n’ roll band.
Jimmy Eat World
American emo-rock band Jimmy Eat World skyrocketed in the ‘00s with the release of such landmark albums as Bleed American and Futures. Looking at a sold-out Troxy tonight, it seems that their music has held fans strong throughout the years.
The mood so far tonight has been, let’s say, demure at best. It’s a Saturday night and people want to be fired up, to be excited, to feel like they haven’t wasted their weekend, so kicking off with atmospheric new track ‘Get It Right’ means it takes a minute for people to get into the swing of things. However, when Jimmy Eat World swoop into ‘Bleed American (Salt, Sweat, Sugar)’ the crowd come alive and, from that moment, there’s no stopping them!
We adore the quirky street lamps illuminating the stage but, for the most part, Jimmy Eat World are a real back-to-basics band; there’s no fancy production, no special effects, no fireworks or confetti cannons. It’s just a bunch of guys playing their instruments and having a ball. Perhaps if we didn’t connect with the band there’s a chance we’d feel like we weren’t seeing enough ‘entertainment value’; but hey, this isn’t The X Factor! When a band exudes such passionate vulnerability and pack a wealth of emotion behind their songs, it’s impossible not to feel a personal tug and this alone is enough to make their performance completely captivating, no frills necessary.
Dancing between huge anthems such as ‘Big Casino’, ‘Pain’ and ‘A Praise Chorus’ and more mellow, poignant numbers such as ‘Polaris’ and ’23’, we see all sides of Jimmy Eat World, from endearing glimpses of the young punks they once were to the mature emotion that grew along with the band. Even tunes from new album Integrity Blues show flashes of their different personalities, from the mellow, touching ‘You Are Free’ to the cute, playful ‘You With Me’.
With an encore comprising of ultimate coming-of-age anthem ‘The Middle’, new single ‘Sure and Certain’ and sing-a-long fan favourite ‘Sweetness’, Jimmy Eat World finish the night on a real high. If any band were able to make an entire room feel connected, as though each and every one of us were riding the same emotional rollercoaster along with the band themselves, it’s this one. They might be a ‘00s band in our hearts, but it’s 2016 and Jimmy Eat World have still got it!