Last night I was lucky enough to see one of the most influential bands in my life thus far, Jimmy Eat World. I had known since about April or May that they would be coming to Boston and I had planned on going the entire time, even though I never bought a ticket. The concert happened to be the day after I got back to the area after being home for a week, so it was easy to make sure I had the day off and had no reason not to go. Unfortunately, I ended up getting sick the day before, so the morning of the concert I was playing a game known as "How To Cure The Common Cold In 5 Hours Or At Least Pretend You're Fine". Don't worry...everything worked out.
Sometime in the afternoon I headed down to the Orpheum Theatre, which is where you can buy advance tickets for House of Blues shows. I sometimes like to buy tickets in person because I then get an actual ticket stub to keep instead of a computer print out (and you avoid all of the ticketmater fees in person!). It turned out that the floor was sold out and my next best option for the same price was the mezzanine. I went for it, because I knew I would rather be farther away than not go at all.
I ended up getting there a little bit early because I was meeing up with a friend who I had actually met waiting in line for the Paramore show back in May. There was some confusion as to where I would wait in line, but there were about five people or so waiting in the mezzanine line. This was great, because I got to go into the venue right at 7, and claimed my spot looking right over the floor relatively close to the stage. I've never been to a general admission concert and stood on the balcony before, but I must say, I really did enjoy it. It was super cool to see eveyone gradually fill in until the floor was absolutely packed. The general area was lit up by everyone's cell phone screens, which is probably annoying to think about right now, but I like to think that in the next generation when cell phones become obsolete, talking about cell phone use at shows will have a different meaning.
The opening band, The Royal Bangs, were quite good. I never know what to expect for opening acts, but I always end up pleased overall. Opening for Jimmy Eat World on tour is a pretty big accomplishment, so hopefully The Royal Bangs will only move on to bigger and better things from here.
Once Jimmy Eat world came out on stage, I could not stop smiling. This was actually my first time seeing them. Naturally, I would have always wanted to see them earlier in their career, but seeing them in 2013 was just as awesome because both the crowd and the band's set were diverse. I felt like I was mostly on the young side and the black Xs on my hands stuck out just a bit, but I saw everyone from young kids with their parents or older siblings, people in their 20s, recently engaged couples, and a few drunk moms rocking out as well. Everything about their set was straight forward; aside from some cool lighting, there was nothing fancy and the band just played a good mix of everything old and new.
I was surpised at how many songs I knew. The only material that I am unfamiliar with is Damage, the band's latest album, of which they played a few songs. The set included everything I wanted to hear and spanned all of their albums (even Static Prevails!) and included a solo acoustic performance of For Me This Is Heaven, which was amazing. And who could forget their cover of Taylor Swift's We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - they pull that off so well, that if I didn't know who Taylor Swift was, I would have thought it was one of their original songs (despite the lyrics being so drastically different from everything else). Seeing the crowd react to all of the favorites from Bleed American (later renamed as just their Self Titled record) was also great - a few mosh pits actually broke out! Towards the end, there were a few crowd surfers as well, and though there were a few unsuccessful attempts, they managed to sit on top of the crowd and sing back the last few lines of The Middle to the band before the night was over.
Overall, this was an amazing night, and though I would have liked to see the band much earlier in their career, it was also cool to see them now. They're all a bit older, and if anything, Jim's onstage banter gave it away when he apologized for swearing and reminded everyone to brush and floss their teeth before playing the last song.
Jimmy Eat World is a great band who I'm sure has played a part in all of our lives somehow, so if you have the chance to see them, I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity.