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Jimmy Eat World in Birmingham and Manchester February 2008

Birmingham Academy – 19th February
Manchester Academy – 20th Febraury

If you ever needed an excuse to see the same band more than once on the same tour then Jimmy Eat World’s Birmingham and Manchester gigs would be perfect examples. Both nights highlighted perfectly the layered and complex nature of JEW songs, perfectly illustrating the entangled emotions woven into their songs.

Perhaps it was the frosty and bitterly cold Tuesday weather which lead to the Birmingham show being more sombre and thoughtful, where the blue hues of the lighting really showed the mood of the show. The band themselves seemed unconcerned with talking in between songs and the audience seemed frozen by the music, allowing the intensity of the songs to wash over them in a contemplatative manner. Songs like Work and 23 really proved their intensity, sounding more powerful in the toned-down mood.

Whereas the warmer Manchester gig with its reds and more upbeat songs showed the energy that can be found underlying a variety of songs. Even with the technical difficulties at the Manchester show the crowd and the band themselves were more upbeat, more vocal and more overt in their appreciation for the set. Throwing in A Praise Chorus, which was notably absent from the night before really added to the already abundant energy of the crowd. Tonight’s set highlighted the passion in JEW’s songs, which are largely viewed to be less frenetic than current emo bands.

Both nights ended with the predictable choice of song, The Middle, however it was interesting to see the reactions to it. In Birmingham the more sedate atmosphere and set meant it seemed almost out of place, whereas in the Manchester academy it really finished off the night. I hate to pick favourites, especially when my city loses out, but the Manchester gig really did offer a more rounded version of Jimmy Eat World’s repertoire.

*This was originally posted on my old blog*

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