Jimmy Eat World's recent Arizona appearances have all been special, and Thursday night's was no exception. The band's sold-out show at Marquee Theatre was less intimate than last year's mini Arizona tour, The Rock Lottery, or Jim Adkins' solo Christmas show, but hearing Futures in its entirety with a two-part encore made for one of Jimmy Eat World's best club shows in recent memory.
The vibe of Jimmy Eat World shows really hasn't changed much over the past 10 years. Being surrounded by large crowd screaming the whoas and ohs of "Sweetness" is the same experience one could have had in 2004. Better yet, avid fans were singing before Jimmy Eat World even took the stage.
As scheduled, the band opened with the title track from Futures and proceeded to play the album in full. The music was on point and against all odds, Jimmy Eat World's band members look like they haven't aged much in the last decade. Short of seeing Robin Vining, one of Arizona's most skilled multi-instrumentalists on stage, Jimmy Eat World's stage presence hasn't changed much, if at all, feeding into the evening's strong sense of nostalgia.
"Just Tonight" was an early highlight, but the crowd's energy mounted during "Work," which made its rounds on the top 40 charts 10 years ago. The big hits of Futures, including the title track, "Work," and "Pain" sounded fresh last night. "The Middle" was the only song that was a bit played out, but it's more or less expected to be the closing song at this point.
Another strong part of the main set was the last two songs from Futures. "Night Drive" and "23" sounded beautiful back to back, and served as a good transition to the band's first encore, a five song set mainly comprised of songs from Stay on my Side Tonight and Clarity.
Frontman Jim Adkins dedicated the two Clarity tracks ("Ten" and "Dizzy") to Craig Aaronson, who passed away two days ago.
"When we signed to Capitol records, we really had no business being on a big label," Adkins said, speaking highly of Aaronson and his family. "We wouldn't be where we are without him, so we are grateful."
I was partially expecting to hear "Goodbye Sky Harbor" in this portion of the song, but the band closed out the first encore with "Disintegration," which sounded fantastic. Sure, performing a song that's nearly eight minutes long seems risky, but it was well received in the band's home state.
A few fans left after the first encore, but most of the audience anticipated a second encore and stuck around. The last encore was full of the hits, including the underrated "I Will Steal You Back," from the band's most recent album. The final four songs were "A Praise Chorus," "Bleed American," "Sweetness," and "The Middle," which evoked the most enthusiastic crowd reaction, providing a non-stop singalong. I'm sure I'm not alone in wondering if and when a Bleed American anniversary tour will happen.
Though Jimmy Eat World's set was magnificent, any fan who arrived late and didn't see The Minibosses missed out. The local band is known for its covers of Nintendo songs, but last night, opted to throw in a Billy Joel cover and had a variety of guests, including Fatigo.
See the next page for set list and Critic's Notebook.
Set list: Futures Just Tonight... Work Kill The World You Love Pain Drugs or Me Polaris Nothingwrong Night Drive 23
Encore: Over Closer Ten My Best Theory Dizzy Disintegration
Encore 2: I Will Steal You Back A Praise Chorus Bleed American Sweetness The Middle
Last Night: Jimmy Eat World at Marquee Theatre.
Personal Bias: I saw Jimmy Eat World on the first Futures tour.
The Crowd/Overheard in the Crowd: "It's all midlife crisis white bros."
Best accessory: Aaron Burke (Minibosses) had a Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro perched on his guitar strap.
Random Notebook Dump: When I saw the setlist, I initially expected "Disintegration" to be a cover of The Cure.
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