Monday, May 01, 2017

This Post is About Jimmy Eat World


My mom calls me Elise sometimes (that's my sister's name). Sometimes she calls me Elaine (that's her sister's name). It's a common enough thing to look right at someone you know very well, whose name you know very well, and call them a name that doesn't belong to them. 

I'm not sure how common it is to call your husband Jimmy Eat World when his name is Barclay, but that happened once. This should give you a hint about how much I like/listen to Jimmy Eat World, which makes it the perfect way to open a post about how I finally, finally, finally got to see them live. 

Here's a picture of me and Elise right before the show (it's a funny picture, because if you look at it quickly, it looks like she's a toddler and I'm holding her on my hip). 

We got there super early, along with a small handful of other die-hard Jimmy fans (doors were at 7, show at 8, and this picture was taken at 6:15ish). We made friends with a couple from Regina and spent the whole show with them (I use the term 'friends' loosely though, because they didn't ask for our Instagram handles afterward. If someone doesn't ask you for your Instagram handle after you spend five-ish hours with them, WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Did I have bad mosh pit etiquette? Did I smell? Were my dance moves out of date? They should've been. I was there for Clarity-era Jimmy, first and foremost). Anyway. They were really nice, and very enthusiastic, which was helpful. I hate standing beside unenthusiastic people at shows.

You might think that being there so early would be a drag but it wasn't, because Jimmy Eat World's sound guy, Dennis of Ten Foot Pole, came out and played some of his band's songs for us while we waited. He had the little keener crowd sing gang vocals and it was like a pre-show sidewalk party. I now believe this should be standard practice for all concert experiences. Thank you, Dennis, and also: you did a lovely job behind the sound board last night. 


The show was at O'Brians in Saskatoon, which is a tiny venue—I think it holds up to maybe 1000 people—and it wasn't sold out. It's kind of incredible to be able to see one of your all-time favourite bands in a setting like that. 

They haven't had anything in the way of mainstream radio hits lately, which meant the crowd was a little older and much more, you know, invested. I've been to shows where a band has had a recent hit, and the audience is all 18-year-olds who only know that song and sing along to it obnoxiously and then talk loudly through the rest of the set or leave. The crowd last night, in contrast, was phenomenal. Everyone knew all the songs from all the albums, from Clarity to Futures to Integrity Blues. Jimmy Eat World picked their set-list accordingly—they played stuff from every era of their career, graciously catering to us precious, weepy, nostalgic people. I mean, I loved Integrity Blues, but I was s-t-o-k-e-d when they played "Lucky Denver Mint." 

It must be kind of cool to get to a place in your musical career where you basically show up to your shows to facilitate giant, sentimental sing-alongs with hundreds of people who now associate your music and lyrics with intense, personal experiences and emotions

It really was everything I could've hoped for. Not a lot of inane chit-chat between songs, the set list was perfect, the band seemed humble and happy to be there, and the opener (Beach Slang) was fantastic. 

Also, at one point I held up my hand and a signed pick was pressed into it from the stage. 16-year-old me would've been much more thrilled about this than 29-year-old me, but 29-year-old me decided, just for last night, to be thrilled about it on my own behalf. I mean, these are just people playing music, but whatever. This music has been the soundtrack to a lot of my life. So. I feel like I reserve the right to be a little ridiculous about it.

If you don't have something to be ridiculous about, you should get something to be ridiculous about. Being ridiculous is fun.