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Jimmy Eat World at The Space at Westbury

Mike Perciaccante By

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Jimmy Eat World
The Space at Westbury
Westbury, NY
October 20, 2014

The members of Jimmy Eat Word drink Gatorade and Poland Spring. At least on stage. The band's crew placed numerous bottles of both near each members station. It was good thing, too, because as the show unfolded, the band members (especially lead singer Jim Adkins who played and sang with such intensity that he was soaked in sweat from head to toe) definitely needed the electrolytes and serious re-hydration.

The alt-rock/power pop band from Mesa, AZ had its commercial breakthrough with Bleed American (DreamWorks, 2001). The album featured four charting singles with catchy and infectious "The Middle" reaching number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. In 2004, Jimmy Eat World again reached the top of the Modern Rock chart with "Pain." The band is composed of lead vocalist and guitarist Jim Adkins, guitarist and backing vocalist Tom Linton, bassist Rick Burch, drummer Zach Lind and touring member Robin Vining on keyboards, percussion, guitar, backing vocals.

Touring in honor of the 10th anniversary of the release of Futures (Interscope, 2004), the band delivered an evening of guitar-driven modern rock with emo influences. After a quick opening set by MINIBOSSES, featuring a killer cover of Billy Joel's "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)," the band kicked off the evening with "Futures" from the album of the same name. The band was in fine form functioning on all cylinders like a well-oiled machine satiating the capacity crowd at the midsized Long Island venue by playing the rest of the seminal release in its original running order—"Just Tonight...," "Work" (with its sing-a-long chorus), the raw and emotional "Kill," "The World You Love" (prior to which Adkins thanked the audience for coming), "Pain" (during which the audience Joined the ban on the "Takes my pain away!" chorus), the slow song "Drugs or Me," "Polaris" (the most emo-influenced track on the album), "Nothingwrong," "Night Drive" and "23."

Upon completion of the Futures album, the audience erupted and the band momentarily left the stage. Within seconds, they returned for an elongated set of encores. The all-ages crowd greeted the band with unbridled delight and joy. Those with seats stood and swayed to the music while those in the general admission area of the venue swayed to the beat of the music as the band rolled through a set that leaned heavily on Stay On My Side Tonight (Interscope, 2005): "Over," "Closer," "Lucky Denver Mint" from Clarity (Capitol, 1999), "Let It Happen" from Chase This Light (Tiny Evil, 2007), the quick and catchy rocker "Action Needs an Audience" from Invented (Geffen, 2010) and "Disintegration."

The second set of encores sent the die-hard fans over the edge. They deliriously danced, screamed, bopped, shouted and sang along to "Bleed American," the searing, thumping and driving "My Best Theory, "Big Casino" from Chase This Light and, of course, "The Middle." when the last notes of "The Middle" faded into the ether, the band members stepped out from behind their instruments and as Adkins simply stated, "Thanks for coming," the others quickly exited the stage .

Though the night's performance had some glaring omissions. "Sweetness," "Hear You Me," "A Praise Chorus" and "The Authority Song" didn't make the cut to be among the concert's twenty-one offerings. Because the evening was a celebration of the Futures album, it just played out that way. In 2016, when the band celebrates the 15th anniversary of Bleed American, rest assured they will be played.

Photo Credit: Christine Connallon
[Additional article contributions by Christine Connallon].

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