When I was 16 year’s old, me and a mate bunked off college for the day (sorry mum), climbed into another friend’s Ford Focus and drove up to London to catch Jimmy Eat World perform an acoustic instore show in the basement of Virgin Megastore (RIP) to promote their new album Futures. In the heady pre Google Maps days of 2004, we spent most of the day lost trying to navigate the complicated roads of central London. We only made the show with seconds to spare, literally running down Oxford Street as fast as we could. Fast forward 12 years, Jimmy are in town to promote their forthcoming album Integrity Blues and somehow I am without a ticket. I’m walking home from work when I get this answer phone message “I’ve got you sorted for tonight.” YES!
Opener “Get Right”, plucked from the aforementioned upcoming album is a strong beginning to a set heightened by the arrival of “Bleed American” which sends the crowd into a singalong frenzy. It’s a song that you know they’ve played countless times, but they still perform it with enough gusto to make you believe that they’d written it yesterday. So far Jimmy Eat World have 8 studio albums under their belts, and with a ninth on the way, you can only imagine how difficult it is to pick a setlist that pleases themselves and their audience. Most of the bases are covered as they pick the most well-known tracks from each of their records. “Hear You Me” is as crowd-pleasing as ever and guitarist Tom taking on vocal duties for “Blister” is a personal highlight of the show.
Since 2001’s Bleed American, Jimmy Eat World work in three-year cycles and from the outside looking in it appears to be working for them. They don’t rush things, they take their time knowing that they’re comfortable with their band and where it’s taken them. Lead singer Jim Adkins jokes at one stage that guitar player Tom actually looks “younger now than when they started.” It feels like Jimmy Eat World are making the music they want to make, at the pace that they want to make it. Long may it continue.
Get tickets for upcoming Jimmy Eat World shows at ticketweb.co.uk/jimmyeatworld
Get tickets for upcoming Islington Assembly shows at ticketweb.co.uk/islingtonassemblyhall
Miss the show last night? Want to relive it? Listen to the setlist below.