Jimmy Eat World Rides A More Mature Transcendent Sound Through The Wiltern Theatre In LA
There was a certain amped-up electricity in the air, within the lobby of the sold out Wiltern Theatre on Wednesday night. Jimmy Eat World had just dropped their new album, Invented, the day before and the loyal following was eager to absorb the fresh stuff live. Scottish indie rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks had just finished a spirited opening set and the night was on.
Just as these fans were not the same young, head bobbing kids who followed JEW through the 2000’s, this was also an older and more mature band, taking another step in their constant changing evolution. Every truly great band morphs into something greater and this foursome has to be looked at as one of the elite because of their constant ambition to change and not stay in the same place. Yes, this was the same band that “fathered” a movement in popular rock music (and have influenced so many other artists). But, they are taking ownership of new sonic territory with their new songs and it was obvious during the night.
The last time we had seen Jimmy Eat World in LA was at their well-recieved Clarity x10 Tour show at Club Nokia downtown.
It had been 16 years since JEW released their self-titled album and 11 since the revolutionary Clarity. A voice was heard in the crowd saying, “This is what it sounds like when guys have been playing together since they were in Jr. High!” This was obvious in the way the band was firing on all cylinders. From the opening relentless energy of, “Bleed American” and “Your New Aesthetic,” to the angst anthem, “A Praise Chorus,” fans could sense it was going to be a powerful night.
One of the great additions to this tour is Phoenix singer/songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews, who sang on five of the Invented tracks. She played keyboards and added a thick layered vocal atmosphere to many of the songs. Every one of the new songs blended in, seamlessly, with the rest of the well known setlist. “Coffee and Cigarettes” and “Evidence” are sure to be radio chart toppers, well into 2011 (great to have long time Producer Mark Trombino back on Invented). The lyrics, some influenced by Cindy Sherman’s untitled film stills or Hannah Starkey photographs, have a deeper and older feel. A perspective that only a seasoned band who has been all over the world a few times would possess.
Any band who does not have to reach into their bag of tricks and can choose not to play their first radio hit (“Lucky Denver Mint”) can say that they have reached a new level of success.
Other highlights of the feel good set were the reflecting and angelic, “Hear You Me,” and Clarity’s “Blister,” with Jim Adkins and Tom Linton trading vocals over militaristic guitars. The end of the set crescendoed with the legendary “Goodbye Sky Harbor,” ending with drummer Zach Lind’s driving beats mixed with Adkins hopping around the stage, singing vocals into a sampler and creating various loops. As the band walked off stage, the Wiltern was simply a zoo, fists in the air and pure noise shaking the rafters. It was almost as if the crowd had been on this ride before and had loved what was so far, but knew of the euphoria to come.
The stuttered opening guitar chimes of the symphonic “23” started a perfect encore. This critic is not sure there have been many better songs penned than this. The lyrics seemed to state where the band was in this creative season of their careers, “I’m here and now I’m ready, holding on tight, don’t give away the end…”
It was time for the radio hits and the venue echoed with the refrain from “Pain,” “takes my pain away!” “The Middle” sent the crowd into a dancing frenzy and there was room for only one more… “Are you listening…?” “Sweetness” left Jimmy Eat World’s faithful knowing that they just had been part of something special. JEW is definitely a band worthy of all the attention and labels bestowed upon them and seem that they have a lot more to accomplish… “don’t give away the end…”
SET LIST JIMMY EAT WORLD WILTERN THEATRE LOS ANGELES
- Bleed American
- Your New Aesthetic
- A Praise Chorus
- My Best Theory
- Let It Happen
- For Me This Is Heaven
- Big Casino
- Coffee and Cigarettes
- Hear You Me
- Goodbye Sky Harbor
- The Middle