After 23 years’ in the business, rock veterans Jimmy Eat World are anything but over the hill as they head out on a 29-date tour to promote their ninth and arguably best album to date Integrity Blues. Bristol’s O2 Academy is the twelfth stop on the European leg of the tour and with a sold out box office, you just know the night is going to be well worth the wait.
Reading rockers The Amazons are first to the stage as the only support band of the evening. A product of indie vibes but rock and roll dreams, the dynamic four piece mesmerised the crowd as they performed a compilation of tracks from their ever-growing arsenal, including their brand new single, ‘In My Mind.’ Their short but sweet set warmed up the crowd nicely but unfortunately didn’t blow any minds but this could easily be put down to their relatively unknown status and the reserves of excitement for the main act.
Jimmy Eat World, take to the stage after an anxious wait of over half an hour but as the tension rises, the lights fall and ‘Get Right’ from their new album is blasted into the crowd. ‘Bleed American’ and ‘Steal You Back’ follow on and are executed with absolute precision. The whole room lights up as fans recite every word back to Vocalist, Jimmy Adkins and the nostalgic trip back in time, to when we first heard these tracks, begins.
For so many, this band represents a time in your life and with so much emotion attached to their songs, you can feel the heart strings being pulled in every direction, particularly when listening to ‘Here You Me.
While it was incredible to hear the original Jimmy Eat World records, it was also quite something to hear the highly recommended new album Integrity Blues. Tracks like ‘You With Me,’ ‘Pass The Baby’ and ‘Sure and Certain’ were performed seamlessly to the chanting of the crowd.
When asked to comment on the new album, Adkins said: “While we’re proud of our work, this is our ninth album, and we felt like we could do better, challenge ourselves, push ourselves in a new direction because if we keep doing the same thing, we know what we’re gonna get. For bands that have been around a long time, fans appreciate different things and do we wanna be known as a band for what we’ve done, or what we’re doing?”
The band have definitely reached new heights and it was a real pleasure to hear the new venture live and in the flesh but it can safely be said that to hear the classics, was a clear prerogative for the majority of the room. With the last blast of energy from their explosive set, ‘The Middle’ and ‘Sweetness’ played out the end of the evening in style.