Jimmy Eat World, The Hunna at Newport Music Hall, Columbus, OH – October 13, 2016
For nearly two and a half decades, Arizona’s Jimmy Eat World have continuously delivered sensitive, uplifting and heartfelt rock ballads and anthems that continue to connect with all-ages, although mainly with 30+ somethings who discovered the band early on.
Transforming the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio, into a group singalong seemed to top the band’s to-do list on October 13 as they ran through a setlist that included 20 songs across the band’s seven most recent albums. Although Static Prevails, deep cuts, b-sides and 7-inch and EP tracks were noticeably absent from the set, when you have a catalog the size of Jimmy Eat World’s that’s probably to be expected.
The band kicked off the set with “Get Right,” a single from their Integrity Blues album, which hadn’t yet been released by the show, and followed it up with Bleed American’s title cut. “I Will Steal You Back” from Damages continued the set’s slow burn build.
By “Big Casino” the band was clearly hitting their stride, led by Jim Adkins’ soaring tenor and power-chugging guitar work. As an aside, the band was also joined by a tour keyboardist who offered backing harmonies that hit all the right notes.
A highlight of the set was a two-fer of songs from Futures, which included “Polaris” and the album’s title track. It didn’t seem lost on anyone that “Futures” seemed especially poignant given the upcoming election. About halfway through the set Tom Linton stepped into the limelight for clear crowd favorite “Blister,” from fan favorite album Clarity.
The remainder of the proper set included Clarity’s “For Me This is Heaven” and the soaring “Lucky Denver Mint”, peppy “A Praise Chorus” from Bleed American, and three in a row from Futures, including “23,” “Work,: and the big and bombastic “Pain.”
Although the band’s mid-song banter was pretty limited, when they returned for the encore after a few minutes and some shirt changes, Adkins took a few moments to reminisce about early trips to Columbus (Bernie’s) and to thank fans for continued support. Predictably, the encore included the band’s Top 40 hit “The Middle” and fan favorite “Sweetness,” which perfectly bookended another new single, “Sure and Certain.”
Jimmy Eat World haven’t seemed to age a minute in the last 20 years, in sound, presence or appearance, there’ve been no lineup changes, big falling outs, or salacious scandals, and they’re music is every bit as fresh and as relevant as when they released it. Additionally, new bangers from Integrity Blues are a delightful addition to the band’s canon. If there’s an American band you’re willing to place bets on for induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame someday, Jimmy Eat World is a strong contender, if not a shoe-in. I for one am keeping my fingers crossed that they’re still delivering the hits 20 years from now.
The Kings of Leon influenced UK act The Hunna offered support for the set arriving with solid rockers from their debut record, 100, released via 300 Entertainment in August, and seemed to convince the crowd that they should keep an eye and ear on these up-and-comers.
1. “Get Right,” Integrity Blues
2. “Bleed American,” Bleed American
3. “I Will Steal You Back,” Damages
4. “Big Casino,” Chase This Light
5. “If You Don’t, Don’t,” Bleed American
6. “Let It Happen,” Chase This Light
7. “Polaris,” Futures
8. “Futures,” Futures
9. “Blister,” Clarity
10. “You with Me,” Integrity Blues
11. “For Me This Is Heaven,” Clarity
12. “Lucky Denver Mint,” Clarity
13. “A Praise Chorus,” Bleed American
14. “My Best Theory,” Invented
15. “23,” Futures
16. “Work,” Futures
17. “Pain,” Futures
18. “The Middle,” Bleed American
19. “Sure and Certain,” Integrity Blues
20. “Sweetness,” Bleed American