Jimmy Eat World @ The Intersection, Grand Rapids

I thought I arrived in plenty of time, but alas, no… I just missed the South African based band, Civil Twilight.  They played promptly at 8:30, which will teach me to not wait so long after doors at the Intersection on a weeknight.  After the disappointment had settled and 9 PM was firmly on the clock, the activity began to quickly clear the stage for the headliner to take his place.  Soon we were to see: Jimmy Eat World.

Now you may have formed your opinions of this band long ago, back when “The Sweetness” and “The Middle” were popular, but this band here this night, celebrating their 10th anniversary of the release of Bleed American, were so much more than anything assumed by the casual listener. As I watched and listened to the entirety of their set I realized I knew them far better than I had previously thought.  So many familiar and enticing songs blanketed the venue as the crowd grew ever more grateful.

The band started the night with some favorites including the somewhat recent “Coffee and Cigarettes” and proceeded to play an array of music spanning the last ten years… many of the fans could not have possibly been old enough to enjoy their first national album unless they started listening at the age of 6.  It was fascinating to see the overwhelming youth of their fans at this show; there was a sea of “M’s” lining the front of the stage.

As the show drew on, the fans grew more wild.  The heat of the venue became intense, pushing me towards the back by the open door for smokers. I stood near the merch tables while I watched the remainder of the show, pausing to buy a tote bag from each band… I love those tote bags, so cheap and so versatile.  More bands need to offer such enticing wares; not everyone wants a t-shirt.

The band itself was awesome though, they had energy and enthusiasm and great songs.  They made sure to play several songs that were not the everyday as well as what the general masses desired.  They finished off the night with an encore involving their oldest hits, but there were plenty of great moments beforehand.  It was well worth staying for the entire show considering the level of enthusiasm they brought to this gig, as I am sure they did all the others.