Jimmy Eat World @ Birmingham Academy – 19th February 2008


Jimmy Eat World singer Jim Adkins is not your typical frontman of a multi-platinum selling punk rock band. If you didn’t know better you’d happily believe him if he told you he were a teacher or a solicitor. And yet here he is on stage at the Academy in front of 3000 adoring fans with a huge smile on his face. In fact, there are a lot of smiles everywhere. Jimmy Eat World seem to be a band who actively encourage a positive frame of mind, and their soaring choruses and infectious harmonies have the majority of the audience singing along to every word of every song.


With a stripped down stage set and a healthy back catalogue to mine, Arizona’s finest have sold out the Academy’s main room and attracted a mixed crowd of young emo kids, uni students and middle-aged rockers to witness a set filled with uplifting anthemic punk tunes which, although occasionally veering into pop territory, sound slick and custom-made for American radio or blockbuster movie soundtracks.

On the down side, tonight’s set is somewhat on the short side with “Pain” ending a 50 minute set before the band return with a 4 song encore which sees Adkins strap on an acoustic guitar for the downbeat “Your House”. Where once there were lighters held aloft, now we get a sea of cameras and mobile phones, mostly filming snippets of the show ready to upload to YouTube the next day.


“These fans win the crazy fan award”, says Adkins pointing to the front row. “You guys were here before us just to get you prime piece of real estate at the front”. You’re crazy but we love you for it”. The feeing is undoubtedly mutual and “The Middle” is greeted with the biggest screams of the night and it’s a rousing finale. As the doors fly open to sub-zero temperatures outside, the hoards wander home – still smiling.


Words & Photos – Steve Gerrard ROCK PHOTO

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1 thought on “Jimmy Eat World @ Birmingham Academy – 19th February 2008

  1. I FINALLY got to see Jimmy Eat World live(at the Roundhouse)…only been waiting about 10 years since I first head them when I lived out in California.

    So first the good stuff… awesome,I been wanting to see these guys for about 10 years and they were worth the wait, no question.

    Blasted into the show with Big Casino followed by Sweetness and I cant remember what came next, I think they must have done nearly every song they ever wrote…well okay, not every one!! Twice I had to phone California, I phoned my son in law (Matt from DayZero http://www.myspace.com/dayzero so he could hear the new single live and then again when the guys played Hear You Me….Matt does a great cover of this….!!) Anyways, don’t wanna know what my phone bills gonna be this month. hey if anyone got any pics from the Roundhouse can you send them over…ta!!

    So what about that encore then!!! Brum only got about 4…well we beat that, its gotta be a record, I’ve probably been to about 50 or more shows over the years, seen just about every band I wanted to see and a few more, I’ve never known anyone do more than about 4 or 5 songs for an encore….what was that you said Jim?….”F*ck it, we’ll just keep playin'” and they did, I counted 8, my friend said it was 7, either way that’s one hell of an encore.

    And now the not so good stuff….Well….what can I say, about 5 minutes(or less) into the show the only thought in my head was “Im just gettin too old for this”, we got to the line “…turn on ignition” and I knew I was in trouble, dont get me wrong, I was expecting the surging, swaying, crushing, jumpin up and down, arms in my face, beer gettin spilled, totally expected to get bruised up a bit and my feet stood on….well no, I more than expected it, I was looking forward to it, its all part of the ‘rush’…what I didn’t expect was the place to turn into a mosh pit, thought that phase had lost its popularity since the Smashing Pumpkins shows!!

    So I just blame it on my age (and no…I wasn’t the only ‘old **tch’ in there)….but no…I stop off at this record store in Kingston-Upon-Thames this morning and the guy in there, about the age of most of the audience last night pretty much said what I was thinking about it, he has seen J.E.W a few times before and never seen that happen when they played, I talked to a couple other guys….20 years younger than me and raring to go at any good show that were saying the same thing, apparently the out of control (which they were) moshin crew were nothing more than a bunch of yobs from Bristol….hey guys…next time stay in Bristol and let the rest of us enjoy the show!!!! This was the wrong band to do this to…No seriously, they missed more than half the show, the only time they really stopped was when Jim started talking…..y’know guys, ‘some’ of us were there to listen to him sing as well!!! I aint even gonna apologize to the ******* I rabbit punched, nor the one I kneed in the *****, I don’t give a **** that you have this insane idea that when you shove into someone they are supposed to join in….Im a scouser right through to the bone with ‘good friend in Brum’, you shove into me an’ I will fight back…and if I cant then my Brum friends will…(okay….Im over it!!!!) Nah seriously though, it was too much and like I said, at first I thought it was just me getting old(Im 40-ish) but there were a couple kids next to us, I thought one of them was gonna pass out, one girl was in tears….so a message to J.E.W any chance you can do what SP did next time that happens??? From what I saw Id say it was a small amount of yobs who lets face it, didn’t know half the songs you did….tell you what though, Carry You blew the lot of them out the water, totally stopped them in their tracks….yeah…HAVE IT yobos, I wasn’t sure a few times if a sudden change in tempo was deliberate to calm it all down again, it did work and 95% of the audience could then enjoy the show again….I gotta tell ya though, I was getting nervous as the show went on, all I could think of was “d***…they haven’t even done The Middle yet”, that was, without question, guaranteed to blow the roof off…..and it did.

    Okay well enough of that… I gotta admit I probably would have left because of the yobs only for the fact that Jimmy Eat World is about the best band around these days, lyrical and musical geniuses and I have to say, until now were, in my opinion THE most underrated band of the 21st century (I’m thinking this tour will really put them on the map big time over here in UK).

    Would I do it all again, h*** yeah….even if it did mean putting up with the Bristol moshin’ crew.

    Jim Adkins….okay girls, he’s even better in the flesh than he is on video.

    Dissapointments?? Yeah, I never won back stage passes and I WISH I never wore boots with 3 inch heels!!!!

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