Mind blowing. That’s one of the few adjectives that I can use to describe Jimmy Eat World’s concert at Nusa Indah Theatre, Balai Kartini a few days ago. It was exactly one day after my 17th birthday and believe me, I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday celebration. I’ve never been really aware of Jimmy Eat World in the past, they were always around during my preteen years and I’m familiar to five or more of their hit songs but I was not a fan until last year when my utter disgust for most of the music today took over me and I started to dig and rediscover the magic of older bands. It was to my greatest delight when I found out that they’re going to hold a concert here and so I called up my best friend (a hardcore JEW fan), purchased tickets with my angpao money and felt like I should have paid more for such an awesome gig.
Doors opened at around 7.15 pm and the audience quickly settled on the theatre seats waiting for the sound check to finish. It was quite of a long wait and the crowd started to get bored by the time the clock hit 8 o’clock, dozing lazily while waiting for the band to arrive. The wait continued until around 8.20 pm when suddenly the band strolled silently on stage causing the dazed audience to jump out their seat and run in front to get a better view of the musicians. The gig kick-started with the song Bleed American from album of the same name. The crowd was quickly energized, screaming the song’s punchline “salt, sweat, sugar on the asphalt!" while the energy carried on to the next few songs. The band had put up a neat song list alternating from fast to medium to slow songs having the audience eager for more and more stage action. The atmosphere turned quite mellow when the song Dizzy played as the heartfelt meaning of the song seeped into those who are present there. As if trying to toy with our emotions, the band quickly jumped into another wagon by performing Action Needs an Audience, a dark horse number from their newest album Invented (2010), which was sung by former lead singer and lead guitarist, Tom Linton. Ballad-like songs such as Hear You Me and 23 were slipped between rock-fueled songs like Pain and Blister, a perfect combination between the small exchanges lead singer Jim Adkins made with the crowd. The band added a twist near the end of the show with the song Goodbye Sky Harbor, building a trance-like feel in the air and abruptly exiting the stage leaving a relaxed but bewildered crowd behind. We weren’t sure of what to do. Were we supposed to just sit there and recollect our memories of the awesome gig or were we supposed to call back for an encore? We decided to do the latter. After a short while, Jimmy Eat World re-entered the stage starting off with a mild song, Invented, and ending off with two of their most popular songs, the teenage anthem The Middle and Sweetness. The crowd went totally berserk screaming “Whoaaaa” along with Adkins. Before exiting the stage for the second time, drummer Zach Lind took a picture of the audience and posted it to the band’s twitter while bassist Rick Burch waved goodbye animatedly to their fans.
Overall, the concert was amazingly fantastic. The sound system was great and the atmosphere was intimate, as if we were attending a secret gig held exclusively for Jimmy Eat World’s most loyal fans. Adkins’ voice was incredible and so was his control. He did make two or three mistakes while strumming his guitar but it ain’t rock and roll without some imperfections. Linton showcased his guitar solo skills and sang with his rugged voice that I actually like more than Adkins voice (listen to their debut album to hear more of his singing). Burch was great on the bass and everyone danced and jumped wildly to the beat of Lind’s beats. The band also brought along with them Courtney Marie Andrews, a singer from Arizona, who performed backing vocals in their newest album and played keyboard and synthesizer. The only thing that I felt was missing is the interaction between the band and the crowd. There were some small exchanges but I suppose that it could have been a longer and friendlier one. Or maybe it was just the odds of the band to stay silent and just rock out, which they did.
Once again thumbs up for Java Musikindo for the show and maybe the next time around you can bring in Weezer for us!
Over and out, Arlinka.