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Concert: From their points of view, Jimmy Eat World show was the place to be

UPDATED: Wed., April 26, 2017, 3:31 p.m.

Jimmy Eat World, shown during December concert in Los Angeles, hit the Knitting Factory in Spokane on Tuesday night for a show that thrilled fans. (Amy Harris / Invision/AP)
Jimmy Eat World, shown during December concert in Los Angeles, hit the Knitting Factory in Spokane on Tuesday night for a show that thrilled fans. (Amy Harris / Invision/AP)

Three Spokesman-Review newsroom staffers walk into the Knitting Factory…

No, that’s not the setup to a joke. That’s what really happened Tuesday night, when unbeknownst to each other, the three S-R employees headed to the Knit in Spokane to see Jimmy Eat World in concert.

Rather than ask one of them for a concert review, we asked all three to share some thoughts about the show. Here’s what they had to say:

Jonathan Glover, reporter, public safety/courts

During my middle-school years, I remember listening to Jimmy Eat World’s “Bleed American” – arguably the band’s most mainstream album to date – on repeat. It was a staple of just about every angsty pre-teen’s revolt against all things conformity.

I’ve remained a latent fan ever since – though admittedly I haven’t heard much of anything from the five albums they’ve released since “Bleed American” hit store shelves in 2001.

But after watching the band’s performance Tuesday night at the Knitting Factory, I’m happy to say I’m fully reformed.

While I couldn’t sing along to almost half of their playlist, I could bob my head and watch in awe as the packed crowd young and old mouthed every word. Each song was catchy, and the band’s energy was infectious.

Doubly so when they played their hits. When songs like “A Praise Chorus” came around, guitarist and singer Jim Adkins could have stopped singing entirely, and instead pointed a microphone at the hundreds of people bellowing in unison – myself included.

And when they finally played “The Middle” and “The Sweetness” during their encore, even people on the outside of the swirling mosh pit in the center of the room joined in with pushing, shoving and riding the sea of hands.

They, like me, seemed to remember a time 16 years ago when the thought of rocking out to Jimmy Eat World was just about the best thing you could do with an evening.

And then the lights came on and the angst turned off. “Hell of a show,” 26-year-old me thought.

Azaria Podplesky, reporter, arts/entertainment

A band like Jimmy Eat World has earned the right to be blasé about near-sold out crowds, but the quartet was anything but during Tuesday’s show at the Knitting Factory, with singer Jim Adkins constantly thanking the crowd for coming to see the band, at one point saying “This is really cool.”

But it was really the audience who should be saying thank you after being treated to nearly two hours of music, complete with a three-song encore (“The Middle,” “Sure and Certain” and “Sweetness”).

And if the audience had its way, the show wouldn’t have ended there.

Whether you’ve been a Jimmy Eat World fan since 1994’s self-titled debut, since last year’s “Integrity Blues” or somewhere in between, the concert was a chance to remember why you fell in love with the band in the first place.

Adkins’ oh-so-relatable lyrics call back to emotions the crowd no doubt felt, or are feeling, as 20-somethings looking for their place in the world, and you can’t deny the earworm quality, or mosh-inducing powers, of many a Jimmy Eat World riff.

Jimmy Eat World will celebrate 25 years as a band next year, and Tuesday’s concert showed its secret to longevity: quality tunes performed by quality musicians who truly care about their fans.

Kai Teoh, web developer

I stumbled upon, or rather pirated upon, Jimmy Eat World back in the Napster and Kazaa days by accident. Their style of music, a little “emo” and a little angsty, rough and unapologetic – it was unheard of in Malaysia. They were the soundtrack to my youthful teen rebellion. Or at least, the rebellion I imagined.

Fast-forward 16 or so years later, after having traded in teen angst for adult cynicism, I’m at least halfway across the world in Spokane listening to them belt out “Bleed American” to a crowd of screaming fans.

When they pulled out “Pain,” my mind blanked for a moment or two and I found myself literally holding on to my head.

I’ve decided awhile back that Spokane is to be my new home, and there I stood watching and listening to Jimmy Eat World as they take me back to Malaysia – the home I left behind.

It was an odd sensation.


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