Experienced band includes Athens in international tour

Photo by Kara Pendley

Jimmy Eat World’s international tour landed in Athens, GA on Oct. 9. The Georgia Theatre hosted the event; the previously abandoned movie theatre was stripped of its seats, leaving room only for standing, which was perfect. It would have been a sin to sit for even a second during this concert.

The Arizona-based band debuted in 1994 as a punk rock band. The current members consist of Jim Adkins, vocalist/guitarist, Rick Burch, bassist, Tom Lind, guitarist, and Zach Lind, drummer. Through the years, the band has refused to be pigeon-holed in a particular style, as evidenced by their seven current albums in emo, alternative rock and alternative pop genres. Their latest album, Damage, produced by Alain Johannes, has placed them in the pop/rock genre. For those unfamiliar with Jimmy Eat World, their sound is similar the Plain White T’s and Foo Fighters.

The band is known for playing a tight set in their concerts, keeping the energy level high and the audience on their feet. Though the group is touring in promotion of their latest release, the Athens concert’s set list included only three songs from Damage, choosing to focus more on hits from all their previous collections.

Indie/rock artist Matt Pond opened for the band with a set list that was a little slow but enjoyable. Pond made a name for himself with the title song for the 2012 hit movie, The Vow, and has laid everything out in his recent album, The Lives inside the Lines in Your Hand. Even though the audience was not familiar with most of his songs, Pond was able to warm up the crowd in anticipation of the main act.

The audience reaction when Jimmy Eat World walked on stage was deafening. The set list opened with “I Will Steal You Back” from their new album, a song that had a crescendo affect up to the first chorus, where it burst into a high energy that was reflected by the eager crowd.

Surfing off the momentum of this first track, the group kept the energy high and the pauses between songs microscopic. After playing high-octane songs like “My Best Theory,” “Your New Aesthetic” and “Lucky Denver Mint,” they slipped in “Hear You Me,” their slower pace hit from the 2004 teen romance A Cinderella Story, just in time to give the fans a break from fist pumping and show the softer side of the band.

The sheer amount of sensational songs in their repertoire allowed the group to put on a lengthy concert that still felt far too short. The crowd was begging for more up until the last second.

Closing the show with a three song encore, Jimmy Eat World saved the best for last. “The Middle” topped the charts at number one during its first release in the early 2000s, and is featured in the music videogames Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero: World Tour. As soon as the crowd heard the opening chords, their electric reaction was immediate and Adkins fed off the energy. By the end of the night, it was obvious that the band had enjoyed the show and the crowd. Every person could walk out satisfied that they had seen a top notch show, performed by a group that refused to quit.

Jimmy Eat World will continue their tour with performances in Mexico, UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. They will round out their tour with the much anticipated return to the states Dec. 6-8 in Orlando, St. Petersburg and Jacksonville, FL. There is no doubt that Jimmy Eat World is out to rock the globe.