Jimmy Eat World
@ Leeds Metropolitan University

Despite having created some of the most accomplished rock music of this decade, I have long doubted Jimmy Eat World’s ability as a live act. Let’s face it, you’d be hard pushed to pick them out in an identity parade and I feared their lack of visual flair wouldn’t make for a particularly thrilling show. However, just moments into this warm-up show in lieu of their first ever UK arena shows, I stand corrected.

An eighteen month-long hiatus certainly appears to have recharged Jimmy Eat World’s collective battery as they effortlessly kickstart tonight’s set with a trio of fan favourites; the jittery hardcore pop of ‘Salt Sweat Sugar’, ‘A Praise Chorus’ and the polished straight-to-radio rock of ‘Work’. The sweat flying from lead singer Jim Adkins’ (the ‘Jimmy’ in Jimmy Eat World) schoolboy side-parting is an obvious indication of the band’s renewed vigour as their enthusiasm is duly matched by a buoyant audience.

Tonight is more than just a spirited romp through the hits. New song ‘Big Casino’ indicates that another modern classic is on the horizon, whilst ‘Lucky Denver Mint’ and ‘Only Seventeen’ are welcome explorations of Jimmy Eat World’s secret early history.

After melting hearts with the top drawer tearjerker ‘Here You Me’, accompanied by a sea of mobile phone lights (wither the humble cigarette lighter?), Jimmy Eat World bow out with a thunderous duo of ‘Sweetness’ and ‘Pain’, as fervent moshers crowd surf and instigate circle pits with delight.

“I get depressed when I go back to America after coming over here,” admits Jim from the stage. “It’s great to feel the love we receive from you guys!” Proof that Jimmy Eat World’s earnestness isn’t solely restricted their music. A brilliant and welcome comeback.

Ross Halewood