You'll probably never ever catch me writing a blog like this again, but I needed to take a minute to share with you guys the amazingness that was a show I went to earlier this month. Some of you may have picked up on this by now if you follow all my social media channels (i'm @maddielion364 everywhere on the web), but Jimmy Eat World is my favorite band of favorite bands. I remember hearing the song "Work" on the radio in the car when I was twelve years old, and it made me feel something i'd never felt before. They were the first concert I ever chose to go to, and since then, it's been a decade of me thoroughly investigating their discography, driving thousands of miles to see them live in their hometown of Tempe, AZ, and waiting outside The Ogden Theatre here in Denver for hours just to be front row at one of their shows. This is probably the only band I've ever properly "fan-girled" over, so when they finally announced an anniversary tour for my favorite album of theirs, Futures, it felt like the best day of my life. October 7, 2014, that tour hit Denver, and I experienced something I will never experience again - a feeling of pure, unadulterated bliss. The feeling of a decade-long dream coming to fruition, and being able to share that with a band who I fully credit as the reason I have a career that I so truly love.
I am literally so excited about this show that I just need to get it off my chest, so here's a little explanation, and photo review capturing the moments leading up to the show, and some of my favorite shots from that night (because yes, i got to photograph them for Ultra5280!). I'd reviewed some of their shows before for the blog, but nothing ever like this. This was the show of shows. The thing i'd been waiting for. I knew that my opinion was going to be biased, so I just let the night slide, caring less for my editorial, and more about just living in the moment. In the weeks before the show, I'd received three of the bands records on vinyl. As part of the 10yr celebration, the boys decided to re-release Clarity, and release Static Prevails and Futures on vinyl for the first time in beautiful colored 180-gram wax. I bought all three (obviously), but the highlight was getting my hands on Futures.
Laurel and I actually pitched in together and bought Tyler (our dear friend who went to SXSW with us, and who is also a mage die-hard Jimmy fan) all three new vinyls as well for his birthday, and he got to open them just before he and I headed off to the show that night. (Look at how stoked we are about our vinyl haul!) We met up with some other friends for dinner before the show that night, and were mocked for our heavy debate on exactly how that night's set list would go. I was praying to the gods that they'd include some tracks off the band's Stay On My Side Tonight EP, which is more or less a collection of Futures B-sides the band wrote with producer Mark Trombino before he left the project, and none of them made the final album cut. We talked about what other rarities we might hear, but couldn't have cared less about what actually happened as long as they played the album front to back.
Sure enough, as promised, when the lights when dark after a quick set from the tour opener, the room filled with a medley of melodies from the album. Jim Adkins approached his mic in pitch black, and as the opening chords to "Futures" filled the room, I completely lost my shit. I was in the pit photographing for the blog, but I had tears streaming down my face. I won't deny it - It felt surreal. Listening to this show finally happen was making me lose my mind. I couldn't believe that the moment had finally come. I left the pit quickly after my favorite song, "Work" ended, an stood without moving, singing every line for the rest of the set. I won't bore you with the rest of the details, and if you want a good synopsis of the rest of the night, you should check out my review for Ultr5280.
To say it was a dream come true is the understatement of the century - that night filled me with more joy than anything else I've ever experienced. I had been having legit nightmares in the weeks leading up to the show that it wouldn't be all I'd dreamed, all I'd imagined. I couldn't have been more relieved to leave that night, knowing all my worries were in vain, and that my favorite band was just as amazing live as they always had been. Plenty of people in this world have favorite bands, but so many people really don't take the time (or get the chance) to really fully grasp that idea. Favorite bands, and fans like myself are the basic principles that the music and touring industry is built around. Having a deep connection to certain music and to a certain band is what keeps artists going, and what keeps music alive today. The fact that I have been lucky enough to experience the full spectrum of this relationship from both sides makes me appreciate it even more, and makes me really appreciate the boys of Jimmy Eat World for continuing to do what they do for fans like me. It seems absurd to have just wasted so much time recapping this for you all, I hope it reminds folks that even people working in music have favorite bands...hell, they are why we work in music. We all have reasons to do what we do, and knowing that I can help others feel the way I felt at a show like this is what drives my passion to keep the touring industry alive. If you ever get the chance to celebrate your favorite music like this, do whatever it takes to make it happen. There are few better medicines in this world than feeling the joy you get by having an experience like this.