Jimmy Eat World @ Metro City, Perth (05/04/11)

If you recognise the name Jimmy Eat World it’s probably a safe assumption that you lay in that comfortable little zone between the stuffy and out-dated Generation X, and the narcissistic and self-infatuated prodigies of Generation Z, known as Generation Y. If that’s the case then there’s no need to give you an account of the Jimmy Eat World concert at Metro City last Tuesday as you were probably there. However for the sake of those who don’t belong to this most salubrious of generations, an account is due.

As darkness fell prematurely over the Perth skyline, heralding the approach of autumn and cooler weather, a ragtag band music revellers conglomerated outside the metallic behemoth that is Metro City Perth. Shuffling past the overzealous bouncers and into the twisting nether of staircases that constitute the innards of Metro City, the crowd eagerly anticipated the night’s performance by Arizona pop-punk dinosaurs Jimmy Eat World. While the Jimmy boys hadn’t managed to sell-out the Perth music pantheon, a respectable cohort attended nonetheless.

Supporting Jimmy was Sydney indie rock outfit The Jewel and the Falcon. The dynamic duo of vocalists in the band immediately revealed the motive behind the duality of the band’s name. ‘The Falcon’ Patrick Matthews, walked on and began serenading the crowd with his sweet, uplifting voice; juxtaposed by ‘The Jewel,’ an alabaster-faced Sarah Kelly, in work boots and ripped jeans, looking like a malevolent porcelain doll and crooning to the audience with sultry, unsettling vocals. While their songs were catchy and consistently well performed, their attempts to woo the audience proved utterly ineffectual. There was a palpable sense that the crowd was just waiting for The Jewel and The Falcon to hurry up and finish their set.

The indie rockers shuffled off stage, no doubt feeling disheartened by the lacklustre reception, and heralding the highly anticipated Jimmy Eat World. Exploding into Salt, Sweat, Sugar the Jimmy boys showed they didn’t need any time to warm up, unlike the crowd who were still unable to find their animus on the sleepy Tuesday night. The wind was taken out of their sails however when Jim Adkins’s guitar cut out completely during the intro of their second song. The band recovered quickly, while Jimmy stalled for repair time by discoursing with the audience, “I heard, like the Mafia built this place in the eighties for discos.” After this minor setback, the band launched back into their set with as much abandon as before. About halfway through their set Jimmy finally managed to coax the lukewarm crowd out of their shells and the vibe became much less inhibited, though the Metro City bouncers were quick to quell any horseplay.

Playing a mix of old crowd favourite and new songs from their latest release Invented, Jimmy Eat World put on a show with the kind of energy you wouldn’t think they could maintain after seventeen years. Called out to play a three song encore, including their hits The Middle, Chase this Light, and Sweetness, the band ended the night on a memorable note.

The only disappointment of the night was the audience itself, Perth crowds, normally characterised by exuberant and uninhibited celebration, weren’t nearly as outgoing and participatory as usual. Of course for a Tuesday night they did far better than anyone could reasonably expect from them. No doubt more than a few punters malingered their way out of work the next day, or at least showed up visibly weather-worn.