Jimmy Eat World dropped their Clarity and Bleed American albums during my college years when I was first noticing music, so it’s not a huge surprise that I turned out a big fan of theirs. Now a decade since I first received that press demo of Bleed American, their recent stop at the Pageant was somehow my first time to actually see the Arizona outfit.
Civil Twilight opened for the incoming crowd and the Cape Town trio used the dimly lit stage to accentuate their swelling sound. Their songs shifted between sleepy buildups to aggressive energy and I preferred the latter to watch guitarist Andrew McKellar furiously strumming and working his pedals. Towards the end, singer Steven McKellar treated the front row by jumping into the pit with his bass and mic for a song.
Jimmy Eat World’s set was a nostalgic affair, focusing less on recent release Inverted, but combing the Clarity – Futures catalog for most of the night. I remembered playing “Bleed American” over and over walking to classes in college. I remembered how much I loved the chorus in “Blister” after discovering Clarity in a clearance bin at a record store. I remembered loving “23” and putting it on a mix to try and impress my wife when we were dating.
I have a bad history of having things overhyped for me and with a decade build-up, this show could have been wildly disappointing. Instead it was an incredible night with hit after hit rolled out for the crowd. The pit was filled with a young crowd than I would have expected, but when energetic songs like “Big Casino” and “The Middle” were cranked out, attendees young and old bobbed along. Good times all around.
Photo Notes: I’m sure you’re wondering where all the Jimmy Eat World pictures are. Simply stated, there aren’t any to post. At the box office, I was presented with a photo rights contract from Jimmy Eat World and their management noting that any pictures of the band would need to be approved before posting and would be owned for their use in perpetuity. Obviously, these contracts are huge hot topic for concert photographers and their publications, but I’m not here to beat a dead horse – these contracts exist, bands have the right to require or not require them and concert photographers have the right to accept or decline them. In the grand scheme, these contracts don’t tremendously impact me since I’m not swimming in gold coins Scrooge McDuck style from running this site. I’m fortunate to have concert photography as a hobby and not a primary means of income. However, I’ve had the pleasure of shooting beside other concert photographers who do rely on shooting for publications and licensing prints for their income and I wanted to respect their situation. So after a lot of deliberation and hopefully favorable compromise, I chose to shoot Civil Twilight, fans enjoying Jimmy Eat World and kick back and enjoy the show myself. Understand that I’m not trying to stir the pot, make a fuss or be a smart aleck, I just tried to make the best of the situation that evening and honor all the parties involved.
The Administrative Stuff: