Live Review: Jimmy Eat World, We Are The Ocean at Academy, 9/9/13

Jimmy-Eat-WorldThe first and only support band tonight is We Are The Ocean, an Essex four-piece who take to the stage and warm the crowd with their Gaslight-Anthem-meets-The-Menzingers’ sound.

Singer and rhythm guitarist Liam Cromby’s gravelly vocals do a good job of getting those who are already immensely excited to see the later band to get even more so.

Blazing through what feels like a short set, I find myself being overall impressed, taking a mental note to properly check them out later (I had originally written them off beforehand because I thought they were We Are The In Crowd, I was pleasantly surprised when I realised I was mistaken).

They’re a rock band, but encourage clapping and sing-a-longs. Before their set ends, they take a minute to mention how amazing it feels to touring with Jimmy Eat World as they remember listening to the band when they were young and wanted to take to the stage – showing how much of an impact the following band had had on their generation.

Now, for Jimmy Eat World, hotly anticipated as they have absent from the UK for three years – excluding festivals.

It’s difficult not to take into account the overall age range of the audience, looking around; I don’t think I can see anyone under 18 years old.

Most people are in couples or with best friends, there’s something about the atmosphere that feels very comfortable and relaxing, as if they are all coming together to share nostalgia and hang out with some old friends they haven’t seen for a while – but are particularly fond of (something very different from the urgency and the teenage chaos that was Fall Out Boy, which I had attended a fortnight before this).

The band open with a song from their new album, Damage, which the tour in itself is in support of.

The first four songs that are played are relatively new, and so do not get as great as a reaction from the crowd as there might be.

People do respond of course, with a good few die-hards at the front of the venue dancing and singing away passionately regardless.

They then kick in with ‘The Authority Song’, which sets the crowd off.

The song comes from an album I’m sure had helped captivate the majority of the audience’s teenage years in the late 90’s/early 00’s – and help to get the nostalgia really flowing.

A particular highlight of the night is when Jim Adkins pulls out an acoustic guitar and the lights illuminate the band in an icy blue.

With the introduction, the crowd then begins to sway and some even hold up lighters.

May angels lead you in/hear you me my friend/on sleepless roads, the sleepless go/may angels lead you in.”

The lines are positively heart wrenching, especially being heard live, for anyone in this room that has ever lost, they sing out loud – even if their voice shakes; it’s beyond emotional and I can barely keep myself from getting a lump in my throat.

The rest of their set is well picked and well received, with more upbeat songs being played after.

So much so, that a small circle pit erupts where the die-hards are situated.

‘Sweetness’ absolutely sends the place into frenzy, before the set finishes with a beautifully drawn out ‘23’ and the ever-popular ‘The Middle’.

Before tonight, I had never really been that much of a Jimmy Eat World fan.

I knew about them, I liked them and I respected them for being a band for as long as they have been.

I didn’t have a vast knowledge about their wide and well loved catalogue, however, I walk away from seeing them live feeling elated and as full of as much admiration as any long serving fan would have for years prior while listening to Clarity or Bleed American.

I am not a part of that generation who would have grown up listening to them, but it was an honour to feel a part of something special, even if only for a night.

Words: Alisa Wylie

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