Excitement was extremely high last Tuesday in Manchester Academy, as emo legends Jimmy Eat World were to make a long-awaited return to a sold-out crowd.
The band, mostly famous for 2001’s Bleed American album, is the perfect balance of alt-rock and early emo but without the whine, mixed in with guitar-driven pop. Every single headline gig Jimmy Eat World have performed in the city has been at one of the Manchester Academy rooms, interestingly, having played a total of nine times and in every single venue. They brought with them support acts Together Pangea and The Get Up Kids, both well-toured pop-punk acts that were sure to make it a night to remember.
Together Pangea came on first to get the crowd warmed up with their energetic Californian pop-punk reminiscent of bands such as The Offspring. Formed in 2009, the trio have released 5 albums, and have seen success with songs such as ‘Sick Shit’ and ‘Badillac’, with 15 million and 7 million streams on Spotify respectively. They gave an energetic set, playing all their most popular tunes.
Afterwards, emo forefathers The Get Up Kids came on stage to a very full room. They are about to embark on a headline US tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their debut album Four Minute Mile, named in 2017 by the Rolling Stone as one of the best emo albums of all time. They played a 13-song long set ending in 1999’s ‘Ten Minutes.’
By this point, everyone is buzzing for Jimmy Eat World. They come on stage and immediately dive into the titular song of their 2004 album Futures. The crowd is pretty tame at first, however during their second song, ‘Pain’, there is a solitary crowd surfer who seems to be having the absolute best time.
However, it is with the third song that the crowd warms up. As soon as they play the thunderous intro to ‘Bleed American’ the crowd erupted. A massive mosh pit opened right in front of me, whilst everyone around was jumping and singing along.
The band played a varied setlist, however most songs naturally came off 2001’s Bleed American and these were the songs that received the best crowd response. No wonder though: the crowd’s age averaged 35 and was mostly composed of ‘elder emos’ and those who have outgrown the phase but still kept it close to their heart as the album would have most likely been a massive part of their teenage years.
Highlights from the set were ‘Hear You Me’, with people on shoulders and phone flashlights on, and the lesser played ‘Get It Faster.’ Despite touring their latest album Surviving, they only played three songs from it. They played ‘The Middle’ just before the encore, and there was not a single person in the room that wasn’t jumping or dancing to the infectious hit. They finally ended on ‘23’, which whilst a bolder choice, it gave everyone a moment to wind down and enjoy the end of the gig.
“We don’t take this for granted nowadays.” Frontman Jim Adkins rarely spoke, however when he did, he came across as honest and earnest, thanking the crowd. He seemed to be having the best time out of everyone, living the moment.