Rockin’ the Suburbs, Again

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

Jimmy Eat World coming to town? $40 too much to shell out for tickets? Still wanna catch ’em? Simple: have a friend win tickets to see them perform at an aircraft hangar-like building in Mississauga and tag along! Which is what I did last night after Jamie won tickets to see Jimmy Eat World play Arrow Hall. Jimmy Eat World is one of those bands I’d never really pay to see, but I certainly wouldn’t be adverse to seeing them (if that makes sense), and last night showed me why. The band was solid, its tunes were catchy, lead singer Jim Adkins is an engaging performer, the crowd was a riot…and, well, that’s about it. It wasn’t the kind of concert that would change your life, but it might at least coax you into picking up a guitar. Which is a victory of sorts, I guess.

In terms of musical highlights, I don’t know enough of the Jimmy Eat World catalogue to really comment…I mean, apart from the obvious singles, I couldn’t tell them apart from Taking Back Sunday (who opened, and who we missed, except for their last two songs). But that said, there’s still something strangely enjoyable about hearing major radio hits live–and to that end, I’m going to cop out and call “The Middle” my musical highlight of the night. There was also a song whose introduction sounded, like, exactly like “Everything is Automatic” by the Matthew Good Band (and both Jamie and I saw the similarities, which indicates it wasn’t just me) and then evolved into this weird, strings-heavy tune that sounded a lot like I would imagine Johnny Rzeznik might sound like apeing on The Last of the Ghetto Astronauts. But whatever: Jimmy Eat World writes solid enough tunes that I’m willing to overlook their general un-originality. Again, they are what they are.

And as for the crowd…well, I could have been arrested for keeping my gaze fixed in one location for more than .06 seconds. Seriously. Wanna feel old and like you’re no longer down with the kids? Go see Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday–it’s like being in an R. Kelly wet dream. And while I’m not quite snob enough to begrudge these kids their musical jollies, it’s strange to think back to when I was fourteen, when a genuine musical revolution was underway. Last night at Arrow Hall I saw 7,000 kids who are in desperate need of a revolution of their own–because as much as I enjoyed rocking out to Jimmy Eat World, they’re not exactly musical heirs to Nirvana.

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