This is hard for me to admit, but I think I’ve outgrown Jimmy Eat World. The guys still make great music but the last two albums haven’t been the start-to-finish stunners that their earlier work was. I’m not sure where they got lost along the way. Maybe it was the mainstream success of “The Middle” that demonstrated to the guys that they could write a decent pop-rock song that both emo kids and sorority girls would find appealing. That’s not to say the last two CDs (2007’s Chase This Light, 2010’s Invented) don’t contain some good, “greatest hits”-type material, but the midtempo, “belong in movie trailers” songs lack the punch of earlier tracks like “Sweetness” and “Thinking, That’s All”.
Jimmy Eat World returned to Columbus this past Saturday nigh for the first time in nearly 6 years (if I’m not mistaken) for a sold-out show at the Newport with We Were Promised Jetpacks. I still find it hard to believe – and, believe me, I’ll tell anybody that’ll listen – that I saw Jimmy Eat World play Bernie’s sometime in either 1994 or 1995 on the Static Prevails tour. That wasn’t a great show, Jim Adkins kept breaking guitar strings and eventually just gave up on changing strings and retuning causing the band to cut their set short. But, for the dozen of us in attendance, it was the first, promising glimpse at this Arizona four piece that was just a few years away from bringing emo rock to the mainstream.