The only thing that could have toppled the crowd’s excitement over Jimmy Eat World’s sold-out appearance at the Commodore tonight was if school got cancelled for the rest of the year.
No one seemed to know who the opening act was. When two young girls, barely 12-years old, walked onto the stage to take their respective places behind the drumkit and keyboard, it looked as if they had taken a wrong turn on their way to the mall. It wasn’t until the duo began playing that we learned what Smoosh was. They had a mature sound, taking cues from quick ’80s New Wave dance tunes. The drummer seemed to use the same drumbeat for more than one song through, which got tiring real fast. The vocalist’s thin voice wailed over her manic keyboard playing. The only times where the group’s sound became childish was during the pseudo-rap numbers, but that didn’t stop the audience from happily singing along to their choruses of “yo, yo”. The girls were given a lot of support, ending with cheers for an encore. Here’s proof that not everyone grew up listening to Britney.
The kids are alright. All the pent-up energy (and fake IDs) was reserved for Jimmy Eat World’s arrival. As soon as the band came on, they wasted no time and tore into “Bleed American”; it was no talk, just rock. There was just a little chit-chat in between songs and quips of songs like “Beautiful People” were thrown in for fun. The band got through almost 20 songs, featuring mostly tracks off of their latest release, Futures. One of the night’s finest moments was the title track; its crowd-friendly chorus and catchy melody was hard to beat. Vocalist/guitarist Jim Adkins was the ying to vocalist/guitarist, Tom Linton’s yang. While Adkins was drenched in sweat from frantic playing, Linton was perfectly cool, standing his ground.
It seemed like nothing could calm this crowd down. The band changed the pace with the crowd-pleaser, “For Me This is Heaven”, playing a more rockin’ version but keeping the bittersweet lyrics of “Do you still feel the butterflies?” intact. These teenage anthems had massive live sing-alongs that rivaled the Death Cab for Cutie crowd. Other highlights included the slow, moody “Polaris” and “Get it Faster”. The latter had a great spacey reverb guitar intro, followed by pounding guitars and spitting vocals. Major moshing and crowd surfing ensued. Kudos to the dude who rushed the stage to hit the drum kit cymbal, then tried to escape security by diving back onto the floor, to un-open arms. That scene was taken right out of a movie, complete with the pause of silence and the singer saying “he’s alright”.
The band was in the holiday spirit of giving because they gave out treats like the hit single, “The Middle”, and the appropriately timed “Last Xmas” but without the campy sound. They touched upon some older material like “If You Don’t, Don’t” and “Sky Harbour”. After chants of “Jimmy”, they played a wicked 2-song encore of opposites: “Pain” and “Sweetness”. The harsh dueling guitar riffs of “Pain” demonstrated how strong their new material is live. “Sweetness” was oh-so-sweet with Zach Lind’s mad drumming feeding off of the deafening crowd. The tire-laden floor got a massive workout. There must have been some good girls and boys at the Commodore ‘cause Christmas came early.