Friday, 20 November 2009

739 JIMMY EAT WORLD, Sparkadia, Southampton Guildhall, Sunday 17 February 2008

Rachel's first gig of 2008 is old faves Jimmy Eat World, who delivered another shiny, catchy and strident CD "Chase This Light" last year and are maturing nicely into one of our most reliable and consistent acts, both "live" and on CD. They've not let us down yet... An excited Rachel drove us down to the easy-to-find Guildhall, and we parked up at the front. Free after 6pm. Yay! Got in at 8.15, midway through support Sparkadia's set. A very impressive number greeted us - a doomy yet soaring epic, recalling the likes of Joy Division and The Wild Swans in its grandiose sweep. The rest of the set was similarly impressive; the young vocalist, looking to curry favour with the Southampton audience with some kind words about Matt le Tissier, said the CD was out in May, at which point they'll be back. On the evidence of this highly promising, heroic sounding half-set, so will I!

We got a drink and grabbed a superb viewing position stage right for the entrance of Jimmy Eat World at 9; lights out, straight on, no messing! Straight "on it", too, with an energetic rendition of recent single "Big Casino", followed up with the angular, Buffalo Tom-isms of "Sweetness". "Damn, there's a lot of you out there," Jim Adkins said to this cavernous venue, before leading the band through their well-paced set, the mid-paced rock of "Work" following this frantic start. The mid-set double salvo of "Bleed American", all power, pace and the usual brilliant middle eight, followed by oldie "Blister" with Tom Linton taking vocal chores - how long would it take to walk across the United States all alone? - were the two set highlights for me, an awesome coupling. However Jimmy Eat World pretty much hit the bullseye each time out with their passionate, committed delivery of their emotive punk pop. A great set, caped with a 4-song encore, which nevertheless still clocked in at a relatively short 1 hour 15 minutes. No "A Praise Chorus" (my favourite JEW number - boo!) or "Lucky Denver Mint" which was disappointing, but after a sing-along "The Middle" to climax this set, this at least meant we were home at 11.30, set-lists in tow. Yay!

So, after another fine, occasionally awesome but never less than great set, Jimmy Eat World still haven't let us down. Long may that continue!

A footnote to this was that Rachel went to the Bristol gig the following Saturday while I babysat, and "A Praise Chorus" was second number in. Damn!

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