Jimmy Eat World
Show: Jimmy Eat World
Date: November 2, 2014
Venue: Club Nokia
City: Los Angeles, CA

Jimmy Eat World
Photos by Nicolas Bates
Written by Dan Sinclair

Perhaps hard to believe for some, but it’s actually been a decade since 2004 when Jimmy Eat World put their fifth studio album, Futures, out into the world, but it is true. And if that’s not enough to make you feel old, just remember the band actually formed back in 1993, and that’s 21 years ago. You’re welcome.

It’s a sold-out show at Club Nokia, so they invoke their ridiculous rule of not being allowed to enter through the front doors once a certain amount of people are already inside. Instead Nick and I climb several flights of stairs to the third floor just to take an elevator back down to the main level to the stage level. Seriously. We climbed a shit-ton of stairs just to take an elevator back down to the other side of the doors we weren’t allowed to walk through.

Anyway, back to Jimmy Eat World. They take the stage and the crowd starts screaming with Jim Adkins front and center, joined by harmonizer and fellow guitar player Tom Linton, along with bassist Rick Burch and drummer Zach Lind. They waste little time and get right into things with the title track to the album they’re celebrating in “Futures.” As part of the tour, the band will be playing the entire album from start to finish.

Adkins’ familiar voice rises above the changing melodies of the song, and this writer is taken back to the late ‘90s when he first saw Jimmy Eat World playing with the great At the Drive-In at the First Unitarian Church’s basement in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. That seems like forever ago.

After Jimmy Eat World plays the second song off of Futures, the melancholy “Just Tonight…,” the crowd helps them sing “Work,” shouting out their best oh-oh-ohs! Adkins is grateful for the support. “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for coming out tonight.” Next, things get mellow for “Kill.”

The spotlight seems to be shining on Adkins for “The World You Love,” with the rest of the fellas draped in the shadows behind him. Not sure if this is by design or just how the writer sees things after walking up too many flights of stairs before a show.

Then shit gets crazy when “Pain” comes up. Everyone starts jumping up and down and singing out, “Takes my pain away!” It’s not like the crowd was sleeping or anything, but this energetic song definitely sparked something inside of them and the whole scene feels refreshed.

They bust out the acoustic guitars for the slower “Drugs or Me,” which is then followed by “Polaris,” “Nothingwrong” and “Night Drive.” They close Futures with this writer’s choice for best song on the album, “23.” It’s got the best changes and the most soothing chorus of the set, and Jimmy Eat World does it big, playing the full seven-and-a-half-minute version of it before leaving the stage.

But, of course, no one’s going anywhere as the crowd cheers for more, and the boys soon return to stage. Adkins tells everyone, “We’ve got a few more songs to play for you.” They start with “Over” and “Closer” off the 2005 EP Stay on My Side Tonight, and it’s really good to hear Adkins and Linton harmonizing together like the old days.

After that, Jimmy Eat World goes back to “Capitol Records days” for the brilliant “Ten.” They thank the fans again. Adkins adds that “L.A. is like a second home to us. Feels like a hometown show.” After playing “Dizzy,” they bring out a second set of drums for an amazing version of “Disintegration” that nearly brings the house down. Jimmy Eat World leaves the stage again.

But, once again, no one else leaves and the band returns to the stage after a brief break. They start the second encore with “I Will Steal You Back” off of 2013’s Damage. Then they revisit their most popular album, Bleed American, for the rest of the show, much to the crowd’s delight. First up is “A Praise Chorus,” and the crowd sings along, “I’m on my feet/I’m on the floor/I’m good to go!” Then it’s “Salt, sweat, sugar on the asphalt” via “Bleed American,” followed by “The Sweetness,” where everyone screams out the answer to the question, “Are you listening?” And just when the fans think it’s over, Jimmy Eat World goes ahead and plays that one you could never get out of your head all of 2001, “The Middle.”

Judging from the smiles on everyone exiting Club Nokia, the ten-year celebration of Futures was a success as fans look forward for more Jimmy Eat World in the future(s).

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