Monday, February 21, 2011

Jimmy Eat World and David Bazan at the Lyric Oxford, MS Feb 19

          Sixteen year rock and roll veterans, Jimmy Eat World, were greeted with a warm welcome at their first ever Mississippi show. 
            On Saturday February 19, the composers of such admired albums as Futures and Chase the Light played a high-energy, no-holds-barred concert at Oxford’s Lyric Theater.  Jimmy Eat World opened their set with two consecutive crowd favorites from their Bleed American album and without skipping a beat jumped into two new anthems from their most recent release, Invented.
            Maintaining their dive-in-head-first pace, the band blazed through an hour and a half of new songs and classic Jimmy Eat World fare. Only slowing down twice, once for sing-a-long slow jam Hear You Me, and once more to tastefully advise a flippant crowd-surfer to change his ways, front-man Jim Adkins demonstrated his performance pedigree with tactful delivery.
            The frequent flickering stage-light strobes is my one and only critical comment about the show.  The design of the light structure exceeded efficiency and intrigue, with some positions and color schemes complimenting their song counterparts perfectly.  However when the majority of the audience is forced to turn away, shielding their eyes, a presentation-revision may be in order to avoid the vibe of poor, automated club DJ trickery.
            With ever-escalating ticket prices, I don’t mind paying for a show when I can tell that members of a band are still having the time of their lives on stage, even after being on the road together for over a decade.  Rocker poses, guitar swings, and goofy smiles all present, this was no façade, only genuine expression.
            “What more could you ask for in a band,” local musician and journalist JB Clark said about Jimmy Eat World with confidence.
            Unfortunately, I only had a chance to be blown away by the last few songs of opening act, David Bazan’s set.  Accompanied by his rhythm section linearly configured on the front of the stage, Bazan, of Pedro the Lion fame, set the mood for the night with his signature weathered vocals and telecaster tones. Having seen Bazan play previously as a solo acoustic act, experiencing his songs live with a full band was a whole new animal.  The few minutes of raw honest emotion through music left me wanting more; my personal mission to find Bazan’s Live at Electrical Audio album is currently in progress.

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