“When people tell me that we are or have been a Christian nation, I want to ask, “When?” Was it in the colonial era or during westward expansion, when we began stealing the lands of the Native Americans, making and breaking treaties, killing wantonly, and justifying our actions by the Bible? Was it in the era of slavery or segregation, when again, we used the Bible to justify the unjustifiable? Was it in more recent history, when we dropped the first nuclear bomb and killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, when we overthrew democratically elected governments in the Cold War era, when we plundered the environment without concern for the birds of the air or flowers of the field, or when we sanctioned or turned a blind eye to torture earlier this decade? Was it earlier this week, when I turned on the TV or radio and heard people scapegoating immigrants and gay people and Muslims?”—Brian McLaren (via azspot)
This was amazing. I’ve been waiting to see these guys since late last year when I heard they were coming all the way here to Auckland, and they did not disappoint. This was their first time visiting New Zealand, and there was a really amazing atmosphere up front with all of the people that love the band and have been waiting on them for years, some since back in the days of Clarity and Bleed American. Seeing Jimmy Eat World’s first ever New Zealand concert was something special; something that we all shared, whether or not we knew the person next us. I loved seeing two guys in front of me put their hands around each others’ shoulders, singing all the words to each other like crazed idiots; the most stoked crazed idiots I’m ever likely to see. When Jim Adkins appologised for taking so long to come over, one guy behind me shouted out what a lot of us were thinking: “Too fucking long, Jim! We love you, Jim!” I personally couldn’t stop either moving and/or smiling like an idiot for their entire two hour set.
They could have played any of the songs from their discography and I would have been happy. However, I was hoping for 23 and Invented, with 23 being my favourite song of theirs if I had to choose, and Invented being quite a personal song that stirred my heart a lot late last year. I got both these songs, and I was clearly not alone in my approval as they began. Knowing that 23 was a song that will have been important to a fair portion of the room’s inhabitants really set in stone that atmosphere that we were all sharing something special; something important to us. I’d almost forgotten about Invented by the time they began to play it as their first encore song, but when they did I was ready for it. It’s hard to call these highlights though; it was the show as a whole that was amazing and is going to stay with me as such a wonderful memory, rather than any individual songs.
That being said, it’s hard to not pinpoint specific, brilliant moments in the gig. Finally starting with their classic anthem Bleed American; that insane riff in Your New Aesthetic; the way that Pain made me jump around like a madman; that feeling of unity when they played 23; realising that I love Tom Linton’s signature tracks even more than I thought; the surprise of them actually playing Goodbye Sky Harbour… just to name a few. And of course, the final encore. I’m sure I’m not the only one in the room that thought that they were going to end on second encore and signature song The Middle, but as soon as that track ended they went straight into Sweetness. Now this got us going. This was the perfect ending, getting everyone moving like crazy and really leaving us feeling like we just experienced an incredible show. At least, that’s how I felt.
Not only does Jimmy Eat World have the most consistent discography I’ve ever heard; featuring lyrics for every feeling and the sweet, sweet music to accompany those lyrics perfectly… but they put on a show that lived up to this discography and fulfilled every expectation of a fan as big as me. If there’s any band I’m grateful for, it’s these guys.