Review : Jimmy Eat World, Manchester Academy

I have a confession to make.  Jimmy Eat World are probably my favourite band, so this review is not likely to be unbiassed.  They are such a favourite band that I judge my ability to get on with a person by their reaction to Jimmy Eat World.

This can be a fairly good barometer, because Jimmy are one of those bands where you tend not to know that you know them but, given that they’ve been around for 23 years with 9 albums, you probably do.

I still remember my brother and his then girlfriend of the time coming round a few years ago and telling me that they had just heard an amazing song on the radio called “The Middle”, and asking whether I had a CD with it on so they could listen to more.  Jimmy are a band that need sharing.

If you’re not quite sure about someone but they have a positive reaction to Jimmy, that one’s a keeper, and vice versa.  The same can be true of the band’s most recent setlist at Manchester Academy last Thursday 10th November at Manchester Academy.


Pass The Baby from their latest album Integrity Blues is probably the case in point.  The song starts slowly before the last 90 second rock out makes you realise why it’s there.  The band played a relentless 4 song opening, all songs coming from four different albums.  When three of those four are  Bleed American, I Will Steal You Back and Big Casino, a standard has been set.  At some points it felt that this standard maybe wasn’t maintained, and the “problem” was mainly songs off new album because they were too long to get going.

Jimmy are a good enough band to make old material still feel fresh.  It’s only at a live show, watching the songs played, that you realise how good a lot of the guitar work actually is.  This is why I loved the night.  I think over the 23 song set list and the only new song in the last half was Sure And Certain.  The others were just hit after hit and they were great.

The thing I love about Jimmy is that they fit in a bracket in-between punk, pop, rock and emo and you tend to notice things in the live show that you’ve never heard recorded.  Revisiting them is one of the joys of them, and despite the new tunes not holding up against the favourites, the new album was the one I wanted to put on in the car on the way home.

One goes to see Jimmy Eat World because of what they already know about them.  You leave wanting to hear more.  If that happens too with the people I go with, they’re definitely a keeper.

The way you pull me in sometimes I almost feel
The picture in my head is just too real
It’s gonna be how it is, there’s some things you don’t change
I’m done with telling myself that story

How slowly we built the walls
In years they pile on
I will steal you back
Funny how the smallest lie
Might live a million times
I will steal you back

Here we go, here we go, we’ll take on so much pain
To feel secure, not feel anything
I only pick a fight I know I’m sure to lose
So how can I not hold my hope for you

I will steal you back
I will steal you back

I Will Steal You Back by Jimmy Eat World


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