On top of the World

by John Vomhof


Some things in life are worth waiting for. Just ask Jimmy Eat World. After years of playing the club scene and receiving limited airplay, the band is just now garnering the respect they deserve.

Last Thursday, Jimmy Eat World fans in the Twin Cities finally got what they’ve been waiting for. The band returned to the area for the first time since June of 1999, headlining a show in front of a packed main room at First Avenue.

Jimmy Eat World opened with the catchy and forceful title track from their latest release Bleed American. The live rendition of the song lacked some of the flair that the album version possessed. Then again, if front man Jimmy Adkins every night belted out the lyrics with the kind of enthusiasm displayed on the album, his vocal chords would never make it through a tour.

The band proceeded with a conservative performance of “Praise Chorus,” again failing to achieve the album’s full emotion. But then Jimmy Eat World’s energy arrived and the show started to gain steam. They began to exhibit more of their typical vivacity.

Jimmy Eat World then welcomed Rachel Haden of That Dog to the stage. Haden, who also appears on the Bleed American album, provided melodic keyboard parts and spirited backing vocals to the music.

The highlight of the performance, though, came when the group played an invigorated rendition of “Get It Faster.” The song, which has all the angst and flawless dynamics of Nirvana’s “Teen Spirit,” animated the crowd. The audience seemed to lie dormant during the verses, erupting during the chorus.

The show proved to be an effective mix of fast and slow, new and old, all performed with solid precision. After a sluggish start, Jimmy Eat World’s emotion emerged, and the band sustained that passion for the rest of the concert.

Perhaps the best moment of the show, however, came near the end when Adkins addressed the audience, promising the band would not take so long to return for its next show.