US-based alt-rockers Jimmy Eat World make their first appearance in the North East of England since 2013.
The Arizona natives are currently out on the road across the UK as special guests to British singer/songwriter Frank Turner. Tonight’s show at the O2 Academy Newcastle is one of only two headline dates on this run and subsequently, a packed out crowd awaits the band on Tyneside for their return.
Without a new album since 2016’s Integrity Blues, tonight’s show is very much a retrospective look back on the band’s whole career.
As the group hits the stage, they ease the crowd in gently with the rather melodic “Sure and Certain”, “I Will Steal You Back” and “Big Casino”. The first half of the show nicely ebbs and flows, from the radio-friendly numbers like “Polaris” and the incredibly infectious “Futures” through to fiery rockers such as “Pain”.
One of the many highlights early in the set is one of only three songs to feature from Integrity Blues in the shape of “Pass The Baby”. The atmospheric number gently builds into an almost Rage Against The Machine-esque heavy groove, and by doing so, it certainly hits the spot.
The second half of the show features a lot of the band’s early material as well as a whole raft of tracks from their seminal album Bleed American. Following the hard rocking “Lucky Denver Mint” the group slows down the proceedings momentarily with the beautiful, harmonious and acoustic-tinged ballad “Hear You Me” from the aforementioned record. Of course, the latter of which sparks a mass singalong within the O2 Academy Newcastle; the crowd hangs on every word throughout.
Jimmy Eat World takes the Geordie faithful back to 1999 with “Blister”, during which the stage is bathed in rather fitting red, white and blue lighting. And if this is not enough, as the band race towards the finish line it’s back to back anthems all the way. The likes of “Work” and the band’s emphatic main set closer “Bleed American” transport the Newcastle crowd to 90’s rock heaven. Jimmy Eat World leaves the crowd wanting more.
As the band returns to the stage drummer Zach Lind wins over the Geordie faithful as he arrives bedecked in a black and white Newcastle United scarf. Frontman Jim Adkins rallies the crowd and gets the whole room pumped up, even those in the dizzy heights of the balcony are up on their feet and deservedly so. A three-song encore featuring a thunderous airing of “A Praise Chorus”, crowd-pleaser “Sweetness” along with the timeless classic “The Middle” brings the evening to its explosive conclusion.
On the strength of tonight’s performance, it’s fair to say that it may well have taken Jimmy Eat World six years to return to the North East of England but it was certainly worth the wait.
Event Date: 30-Jan-2019