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Jimmy Eat World gives Uptown Theater crowd a feast of hits and memories

The Kansas City Star

Nostalgia can strike anyone at any age.

On Wednesday night at the Uptown Theater, it afflicted a crowd of more than 1,200, many of whom, it appeared, are still in their 20s but not immune to getting sentimental about the music of their adolescence.

The headliner was Jimmy Eat World, an Arizona band that is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its “Futures” album by performing it from start to finish.

Jimmy Eat World, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2013, is led by vocalist Jim Adkins, now in his late 30s, who can muster the verve of a guy half his age. Their sound was embellished by Robin Vining, who added keyboards, guitars and background vocals to the band’s bristling sound. Several songs featured three- and four-part harmonies.

Their sound is classified as emo-rock, and there are plenty of those dynamics and traits in the lyrics and music, but JEW also veers into power pop, indie-rock and straight-up rock.

Live and laden with keyboards, “The World You Love” sounded like a next-of-kin to Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark.”

When they strum a jangly, acoustic folk-rock ballad, like “Kill,” they can sound like Toad the Wet Sprocket

They tore through “Futures” in about an hour, then returned for a 30-minute encore, drawing from the “Stay On My Side” EP, now nine years old, and “Bleed American,” their breakthrough album, released in 2001.

There was a moment of disinterest during “Evidence,” otherwise, the encores got a bigger response than the main set. Songs like “Over,” “Closer” and “Disintegration,” which featured extra drumming from a member of the road crew (who was reportedly from Kansas City), aroused some dancing and lots of singing.

They saved the best for last, closing with two from “Bleed American”: “The Authority Song,” then “The Middle,” their biggest and best-known hit. The crowd took over that one, singing along feverishly, some swaying in unison, some with eyes closed, as if transported to another time.


Futures; Just Tonight; Work; Kill; The World You Love; Pain; Drugs or Me; Polaris; Nothingwrong; Night Drive; 23. Encore: Over; Closer; Evidence; Disintegration; I Will Steal You Back; The Authority Song; The Middle.

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