Winter is approaching fast and the majority of folk on Oxford Street can be seen wrapped up tight and headed in the direction of Manchester Academy. It’s a notable eve, as somewhere around the 9 ‘o’ clock hour a certain Arizona Emo quartet are due to hit the stage and with the sold out status of this show, one would assume this is something that fans here tonight have been eagerly awaiting.
The Amazons have a privileged if not somewhat heavy job here, being the only support act. Thankfully the Reading four-piece pull it off with charm and style, managing to engage the crowd with their heavy indie-rock stylings. The band take full advantage of the venue’s excellent sound with driving rhythms and cool vocal hooks, displaying a range of influences from early Gaslight Anthem on Nightdriving to the Royal Blood-esque riffs of In My Mind . For a band who, in comparison to the headliners, are a much lesser known commodity, The Amazons do a hell of a job of warming up the crowd this eve and definitely win themselves some new fans in the process. [7/10]
As the anticipation builds for tonight’s main event, it’s hard not to notice the enigmatic stage set-up the headliners have going on. Four impressively-sized structures made to look like streetlights loom over the stage, fitting the emo-rock theme to a tee and adding that extra bit of ‘cool’ to the proceedings.
Jimmy Eat World hit the stage dead on 9 and jump right into recent single Get It Right. A bold move by anyone’s standards but the audience eat it up and are rewarded with a searing rendition of Bleed American for their efforts. The crowd this evening is a interesting mix, from bearded metallers to Uni student-types, a testament to the bands widespread appeal and proof that it doesn’t matter who you are when it comes to singing along to blazing renditions of Big Casino and If You Don’t, You Don’t. The stage talk is minimal too, with the band racing through a generous 23 song set, giving the fans their moneys worth and then some. The lack of conversation is easily made up for by the magnitude of performance, with dark and brooding moments like Pass The Baby and the heartache of Polaris doing the band’s talking for them.
Any Jimmy Eat World show is surely not complete without frontman Jim Adkins pouring with sweat, and tonight is no different with Adkins firing on all cylinders (despite his admittance of “I’ve not been feeling so hot today”). It’s a joy to see a band, who have been in existence for over 20 years now, show such exuberance and this is plain to see with new material like Sure and Certain holding its own against established sing-a-longs Work and For Me This Is Heaven. It’s undeniably the fan-favorites that get this crowd unglued though, as an electric A Praise Chorus sees the crowd singing every word and the epic 23 clearly reminding the audience where they were when they first heard it. The band mop up with ode to youthful self-doubt The Middle before closing out with an ecstatic take of The Sweetness, leaving the audience ready to do it all over again and bringing an end to one hell of a show. [9/10]