Live: Jimmy Eat World celebrates Futures, a decade later | Music
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Live: Jimmy Eat World celebrates Futures, a decade later

Posted by on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 9:52 AM

click to enlarge jimmyeatworld_futures.jpg
Jimmy Eat World, Minibosses
Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

With the queue outside the Lincoln Theatre still a few dozen long as showtime neared for Jimmy Eat World’s sold-out performance on their Futures anniversary tour, venue staff tried to direct traffic. “Guys, there are two lines: One for under 21 and one for over.” Hardly anyone budged. “Isn’t everyone here like 30?” the woman behind me asked.

Although I happened to end up behind a pair of minors—which means they couldn’t have been older than 10 when Futures was released—she was right: The sold-out crowd was almost the reverse of what it would have looked like a decade ago. Black Xs and underage stamps were largely traded for drinking wristbands.

Once inside, the nostalgia started early thanks to opener Minibosses, known for its interpretations of video-game themes from the original Nintendo Entertainment System. The Phoenix-based four-piece’s set included extended medleys of tunes from Super Mario Bros. 2 and Mega Man 2, the heroic march of Ikari Warriors and multiple crowd-pleasing takes on television cartoon themes like DuckTales—including one rendition with vocals provided by a volunteer from the crowd. Beyond translating 8-bit tunes into full-on rock readings with metal guitar harmonies, Minibosses tossed in a tease of Meghan Trainor’s current chart-topper “All About That Bass” along with a rousing take on Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)," featuring half of Jimmy Eat World.

Delivering straightforward renditions of Futures’ tracks with hardly a deviation from the recorded versions, Jimmy Eat World wrapped its main set within seconds of the album’s running time, barely speaking between songs. Though the headlining quartet took the stage with the same line-up that recorded Futures—and all the group’s albums since 1996’s Static Prevails—they were frequently augmented by Minibosses’ Robin Vining, who added essential keyboards, percussion, guitar and background vocals. The audience lent a hand, too, forming an 800-person backing chorus that sang or shouted back nearly every lyric from the Gold-selling LP. Fist-pumping singles like the title track and “Pain” got the audience’s energy up, though the difference in crowd restraint from a decade ago was apparent. Standing by the unnecessary security barricade in front of the stage, I noticed few getting rowdier than a bounce or friendly jostle. Slower cuts like “The World You Love” and “23” provided wistful sing-alongs, seeming to get just as big of a reaction from sentimental fans.

The band returned for a pair of encores that, at around 45 minutes, ran for nearly as long as the rest of its set. There, the veteran alt-rockers explored the depths of their catalog, from popular Bleed American singles “Sweetness” and the title track to underappreciated gems “Disintegration” and “Closer” off the 2005 EP Stay on My Side Tonight. They even dipped back to a 1997 split with Jejune for “What I Would Say To You Now."

But in a telling look, the band barely touched on recent releases, playing nothing from last year’s Damage, though they did offer “Action Needs An Audience” from its predecessor, 2010’s Invented. Breakout single “The Middle” was the obvious absentee, but when the house lights returned for good shortly after 10:30—a respectable end time for a Wednesday night show, sure, but also a sign of the times for those with adult responsibilities the following morning—and folks politely filed out of the venue, it seemed like the coming-of-age anthem would have been a little out of place, anyway.

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