“Do you guys wanna fucking party?”
Well, yes. But I have to admit it caught me off guard coming from Jim Adkins, singer and guitar player of Jimmy Eat World, who fronted a stage of musicians wearing wedding bands, button shirts and respectable haircuts…
“I said, DO YOU GUYS WANNA FUCKING PARTY!?!!”
And with that, the band launched into “A Praise Chorus” and the front half of the Cargo dance floor was a mess of sweaty bodies jumping and singing along.
Mesa, Arizona’s Jimmy Eat World came of age as a band in the late 1990s era of post-hardcore, of emotively sung lyrics, and a melodic wall-of-guitars catchiness to the music. Though among bands such as Sense Field, Sunny Day Real Estate and others in the same style who have long since called it quits, Jimmy Eat World has not only remained intact, but continues to tour and release music – with several songs from their set being from their most recent record, “Integrity Blues.”
Mentioning that the last time they had played Reno was right after the opening of Cargo and asking if anyone had been at that show to a response of cheers, Jimmy Eat World played for nearly 90 minutes, their song selection touching on nearly all of their nine studio albums. [pullquote]A solid rock set, topped by humbled sincerity, this is Jimmy Eat World’s strength, and nine albums strong, it’s not showing any signs of letting up.[/pullquote]Standing beneath a minimal stage set-up, the five piece hardly stopped to breathe between songs, instead letting the last chords of one song segue directly into the next. And while the crowd appeared to be surprisingly young for a band that has been playing since the ’90s, perhaps it was nostalgia for the string of early 2000s radio hits, or the nostalgia in the lyrics themselves in songs such as “23” and “For Me This Is Heaven,” which capture a mood of butterflies and tension of being young.
Whatever the explanation, the standing-room-only audience inside Cargo danced relentlessly, which says something because the band did not shy away from playing some of their slower, almost shoegazey material. Though following an encore featuring perennial hits “The Middle” and “Sweetness,” band members stood on stage graciously thanking the cheering crowd for the opportunity to continue playing. A solid rock set, topped by humbled sincerity, this is Jimmy Eat World’s strength, and nine albums strong, it’s not showing any signs of letting up.
The opening band, Japan’s Man With A Mission, was a deceptively hard rock band given the cartoonish wolf masks the members wore. Playing a driving discordant rock beat, with DJs looping and scratching to add to the din, the band quickly warmed up the crowd. At points, MWAM members would leave their instruments and dance around the stage – something that seemed impossible not to evoke images of the dance scene in the movie “Teen Wolf” – climaxing in members lighting up green lights in the eyes of their masks. And a special shoutout goes to the two people pressed to the front of the stage who knew every word and danced to every song – shows always need more of this!