Oxegen 2011 - Jimmy Eat World
Vodafone Stage, Sunday 7.10pm
Describe in a Tweet: Not so great in ‘The Middle’ but brilliant at both ends.
What happened: Jim Adkins arrival on stage coincided with the first downpour of the day, and what a downpour it was. Through the torrential blast Jimmy Eat World gets everyone in the mood by tearing through ‘Bleed American’, and in the ten years since it was first released it has remained as vital as it ever was. It’s an ambitious song to start with and would be hard for any band to maintain that drive and momentum but they manage it to a degree with ‘A Praise Chorus’.
As the rain persists, and crew arrive on stage trying to desperately dry off the equipment, Adkins does a great job of handling the audience and keeping disruption to a minimum and as we sink into the mud, the pace of the set also begins to noticeably slow down with more recent tracks. ‘Futures’ and ‘Pain’ are indicative of what Jimmy Eat World have become over the last three albums, safe and lacking that early trademark punk influenced drive, and for all the enthusiasm and interaction with the crowd the music is incapable of matching up. Finally the sun breaks and it seems to revitalise the set as they launch into ‘The Middle’, again this is a song that has held up and it feels like everyone is dancing and singing and even draws people in who had been on the periphery. The set is bookended with ‘Sweetness’ and it is truly an emphatic way to end the set. This is Jimmy Eat World at their absolute best, enthusiastic, delivered with urgency while having the crowd completely involved. As the crowd shows their appreciation the band take a bow, and also a quick photo or two, the set has been as variable as the weather but when the sun shone it truly was fantastic.
Crazy In Love: When they get it right they really get it right. Their immaculate performance of ‘Sweetness’ in the sunshine is one of the moments of the weekend.
Why Don't You Love Me: Jimmy Eat World’s newer material is clearly weaker and less interesting, weighing the set down like our waterlogged coats.
Oxegen Rating: 7/10