Jimmy Eat World

support Sparkadia
author TL date 03/02/08 venue Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

It was downright mean of the touring Gods to place Jimmy Eat World's first gig on Danish soil apart from their 2005 Roskilde Festival appearance, on the same SuperBowl Sunday that I had promised my friends to throw a SuperBash for them at my place. Nevertheless, equipped with sheer determination and a good deal of stupidity I decided that it would be a brilliant idea to do both, so I left one of my mates in charge of the house and went to Copenhagen, first to interview Rick and Zach of the band and afterwards to catch their show in Store Vega with support band Sparkadia. I spent the time between the doors and the first set greeting the host of friends the semi-mainstream appeal of tonight's headliners had drawn out of their homes and into the venue, and sending off Jill of Bright Side Of Murder Photography backstage with a photopass to get you guys some quality shots of tonights bands.

Anyway, the clock turns to 9 PM and Sparkadia walk on stage to perform a show I honestly have little to say about. They play a very soft and airy portion of straightforward rock similar to Death Cab For Cutie and maybe John Mayer, and they do so to the general satisfaction of the crowd that, while not exactly jumping up and down with excitement, seem to be casually having a good time listening. It's evident that the fourpiece are enjoying themselves tonight, and they choose to document their show by taking pictures of the crowd, but apart from that, there isn't really much going on during their set you wouldn't also get from listening to their CD's. But it's decent and enjoyable nonetheless, even if not that memorable.


The break between sets isn't all that long tonight, and soon enough Jimmy Eat World come on stage and frontman Jim Adkins takes the position as the all-dominating center of events he's going to possess for the rest of tonights show. The band opens the show as they open their latest release "Chase This Light" with the song "Big Casino" and from the first words it becomes apparent that tonight is a singalong fest, and while the crowd isn't of a super-active jumping and pushing kind, they're still dedicated Jimmy Eat World fans, answering back choruses with impressive volume. Proceeding through their prior two albums, the hits "Sweetness" and "Work" get the mood up and let us know that it's really happening. It's really now that Jimmy Eat World has finally arrived, which a lot of fans look like they've been expecting for the better part of forever. After "Always Be", "For Me This Is Heaven" slows things down a bit before the band drops "Disintegration" on us. This song is one of the most loved among the most dedicated of the band's fanbase but unfortunately it seems like the majority of the crowd tonight haven't gotten around to checking out the EP that it's on ("Stay On My Side Tonight EP", arguably one of the bands very best works). This prevents the song from getting properly off the ground and while the few of us who know it still enjoy it immensely, it's hard to not notice that it's missing some of the magnitude it has on the EP. "Get It Faster" and "Futures" get us jumping again, and the shout-a-long during "Blister" displays the fact that people at least know the old "Clarity" album. Three songs follow from the new album and then the band walks off stage, but noone is in doubt that the best is yet to come, and a constant clapping and stamping of feet calls the band back on. And truly, the best was yet to come, because the slightly playfully altered version of "Your House" is without a doubt the musical pinnacle of the evening. Playing only one song for an encore isn't enough though, so we also get to hear the ever beautiful "Hear You Me" as well as "Dizzy" and "Pain" before the band finally wishes us all a safe travel home before making everyone dance to "The Middle".

Now it'll always be hard to go home from a Jimmy Eat World show saying you didn't enjoy it, because of the fact that the band are exceptional songwriters, and simply spending an evening having their melodies played live to you will always be a good experience. That being said, the band also faces a challenge, having to measure up to the brilliance of that same songwriting skill, as the songs have such "magic" to them that a bland stageshow can kind of kill them off for the passionate fan. Tonight, what I think is a problem for the band is clearly visible. You see Jim Adkins is the incarnation of the passionate and emotive frontman, singing his heart out, wearing it on his sleeve, sweat-dripping from the second song of the set and with his every move and facial expression suggesting that he is truly feeling every word he's singing and every note he's playing. This is unfortunately contrasted in the extreme by the presence of his bandmates, who, the three times I've seen the band, have seemed more than happy to stand back and just play while Jim runs away with the show. I don't really know how to describe it, but this "calmness" present in 3 out of 4 bandmembers feels downright weird for a person in the audience, especially since the songs tend to suggest passion and energy. It is this weird contrast in the stage performance coupled with the only 'normal' response of the crowd that drags down the grade of Jimmy Eat World's show tonight to a meazly


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