Like a lot of other folks, Jimmy Eat World frontman Jim Adkins has tried keeping busy during the pandemic. He started a music and songwriting podcast called Pass-Through Frequencies and may or may not be working on new material for the band (“We’re always working on new stuff, but it's hard to say if any of it will ever be actual songs,” he says).
Oh yeah, and the members of Jimmy Eat World have also spent the past few months orchestrating the “Phoenix Sessions,” the new streaming concert film series that sees the band performing albums from their back catalog throughout the Icehouse art space in downtown Phoenix.
“We’ve been planning this since October and it’s taken a lot of time and effort,” Adkins says. “About a week into doing it, I realized what an enormous undertaking it all was, but by then it was too late to revise anything, so we had to barrel through and do it.”
The “Phoenix Sessions” are different from the sort of livestreamed performances that have become hallmarks of the pandemic, Adkins says. The films are prerecorded, for instance, and each will involve the band performing a specific album in its entirety, including Jimmy Eat World’s most recent release, 2019’s Surviving.
“It's pretty insane and ambitious. Each album and performance will completely have its own look with its own [feel],” he says.
Prior to the pandemic, the band was set to tour the world in support of the album before the world went screwy. Adkins says the “Phoenix Sessions” are a unique way of compensating for the loss of the tour and to engage with their audience.
“It was inspired by what other people have been doing to take advantage of the [current situation] with livestreaming and such,” he says. “Seeing how other people were trying to connect with fans and just thinking about how we would approach that. It just seemed like a new way to challenge ourselves and also connect with fans and we wanted to see what our version would look like.”
If you’re interested in seeing the “Phoenix Sessions” concert films for yourself, here’s everything you need to know about the series.
When Does Each of Concert Films Stream Online?
The band’s performance of their 2019 album Surviving kicks things off on Friday, January 15, followed by their performance of 20014’s Futures two weeks later on Friday, January 29. Jimmy Eat World will wrap up the series on Friday, February 12, with their beloved 2000 album, Clarity. Each video can be streamed starting at 3 p.m. Arizona time on the Jimmy Eat World Live website and can be streamed through on-demand viewing for up to 72 hours after your purchase.
How Much Does It Cost to Watch?
It’s $14.99 to watch a single concert film or $44.99 for the "Mesa" bundle deal including all three films. There are also various other bundles available which include band merch, which is also available separately. Tickets and more info are available on Jimmy Eat World's website. A dollar from each purchase will benefit the National Independent Venue Association.
Where Can You See the Concert Films?
Through this website dedicated to the series. The films can be viewed on any mobile device that uses a web browser.
Why Did the Band Choose These Specific Albums to Perform?
According to Adkins, there were two factors involved with the selections. First, they wanted to feature a variety; and second, they really wanted to play Surviving, their most recent album. “We’ve never got the chance to perform some of these songs live for people because the shutdown kept us from touring,” he says. “We included Clarity because it's more of an old-school fan-favorite album, and we chose Futures because it's a little more commercially successful. So there's something for casual fans, there's something for hardcore fans, and then there's something for brand-new fans.”
So No Bleed American?
Nope. Jimmy Eat World’s 2001 album, which was certified platinum and produced such mega-hits as “The Middle” and “Sweetness,” was “too obvious a choice,” says Adkins.
What’s With the “Chapter” Title For Each Film?
The numbers of the chapters refer to the order each album was released in Jimmy Eat World’s discography. Clarity was the band’s third album, hence its “Chapter III” subtitle.
Will Each Film Look Different?
Yes. Adkins says that each performance will feature a unique setup and vibe all its own, but will include scenes shot all over the venue. “They're each going to look differently,” he says. “We shot all over the place in the Icehouse in all the different nooks and crannies.”
So There’s a Meet-And-Greet With the Band?
Yes. It’s part of the $159.99 VIP ticket bundle and allows you to have a private, personal call and conversation from all four members of Jimmy Eat World lasting approximately two minutes. Fans can choose the date and time of the call and will receive a video of the meet-and-greet afterward. More details are available here.
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