Jimmy Eat World with The Amazons at Manchester Academy – 10th November 2016
Review by Lauren Chilvers || Photos by Richard Nurse
Playing Manchester Academy tonight are Arizona rockers, Jimmy Eat World, who are celebrating the release of their 9th studio album Integrity Blues. Released on 21 October 2016, the album remains true to the raw emotive style synonymous with previous releases, but allows for deviation into previously unexplored sounds. It signifies an interesting progression for the band, and I’ve been keen to see how they showcase this alongside their classic hits. It’s unsurprising that the show is a sell-out.
The tickets would have sold out regardless of a decent support act, or the hype of a new album, as for most in attendance, including myself, this gig represents reliving our youth in a night of unashamed pop-punk-emo nostalgia.
But to be fair, The Amazons, are more than just decent. With clear influences from The Vaccines and The Artic Monkeys, the Reading-based band are clearly talented and they tear through an impressive set. As a band who only formed in 2014 they are relatively new on the scene, but the likes of “Nightdriving” and “In My Mind,” already sound like anthems in the making. The Amazons’ unapologetic rock and roll energy serve them well in captivating an audience who are largely there to see a band with legendary status and 23 years of experience. The interest that they are currently stirring in the music world is completely justified and I can’t imagine it will be long until these guys are headlining the Manchester Academy themselves.
Jimmy Eat World open with an Integrity Blues track, “Get Right,” and it is met with electric anticipation. With rough guitar riffs and classic Jim Adkins vocals, it gets the crowd bouncing even if it’s not one of their most recognizable hits.
Much like Integrity Blues, the night is a perfect balance of new and old sounds, and the band continues with a satisfying mix of memorised classics and fresh offerings. Although they play over half of the new album, this isn’t a chore, even for those who are here for the old hits. Of the new tracks, “Pass the Baby” is a personal favourite. With haunting vocals and some beautiful guitar work it is a stand out track that neatly displays the soul-searching nature of Integrity Blues. In a Manchester Academy swathed in deep blue stage lighting, it moves the crowd and proves that Jimmy Eat World are capable of far more than just churning out a repertoire of poppy crowd-pleasers.
They keep the chat short and humble between tracks, with the effortless tempo never having a chance to drop between songs. As the set progresses, the crowd remember words to songs some of them haven’t heard in years. This crescendos into a swell of more than 2000 voices bellowing the lyrics to “Pain” in unison. Whatever teenage angst we have left from when Jimmy Eat World first came onto the scene has officially been expelled from our bodies.
They leave the stage only to come back once more for the obligatory encore, with the crowd eagerly awaiting the last few big hits that are yet to be played. It is at this point that they announce that it is Jim’s birthday. He is 41. Mercifully they move swiftly on before us die-hard fans have a chance to feel old, sending the crowd into a frenzy with “The Middle.” The frenzy continues with “Sure and Certain” followed by “Sweetness” to round off an incredible night. Their tour continues into next year, across a multitude of destinations. If you haven’t done so already, do yourself, and not just your inner teenager a favour, and book a ticket. And the next day off work.
Photos by Richard Nurse