Wednesday 22nd June 2011 – Jimmy Eat World at HMV Forum, Kentish Town

This is a timely post about transport. At the time of writing we’re in the midst of rail strikes and rocketing petrol prices. Back in June 2011 I was still driving my first car, a 1997 white Ford Fiesta that was ten years old when I bought it, with a pink/purple gradient go faster stripe down the sides. It had no power steering, no central locking, in fact one of the doors didn’t unlock you had to open it from the inside. In these final months of me driving it the other door suffered a similar fate so I would unlock the car from the boot and climb in from there. If that sounds comical, how about the fact the engine would sporadically cut out at 70mph and require a restart mid journey.

All that taken into account, it didn’t seem advisable to take this disaster waiting to happen on the road to London. We opted for the train instead. A better option regardless of your vehicle? Sure. Though not if you live here in Dorset where the last train out of London is pre-midnight. This has meant many a mad scramble from whatever venue on the edges of the city centre, back to Waterloo on various connecting tubes. To be on the safe side you’ll accept missing a song or two in the encore to buy a few extra minutes and ensure you don’t miss the train home.

If it’s a song you’ve seen a band play a million times, maybe making that decision is more palatable. When the band is playing two albums back to back and you know there’s a chance you might not actually see it through to it’s conclusion, that’s a serious shitter. This anxiety hung over me for the entirety of the show. It’s an odd thing to be watching Jimmy Eat World play Clarity and part of you willing them to hurry it along to get to Bleed American (the latter is my favourite of the two, don’t @ me bro).

The stupid thing about all of this is that we did make through both albums within the allotted time and into the encore of four more songs too. Getting to see it isn’t the same as getting to see it with peace of mind though. Fortunately I have a more roadworthy vehicle these days and don’t need to rely on the trains and the timetable restrictions. I wish it weren’t this way though.

Logistics aside, this was a great gig and while I’ll probably always be divided on album shows, it was worth the journey to see some deep cuts from the ‘early’ Jimmy Eat World era I’ll probably never witness live again, alongside some of the best songs in their catalogue that have made the setlist every time I’ve seen them and I’ll never tire of.

As for my car, it would be scrapped less than two months later. Fittingly, some of the tracks from the deluxe edition of Bleed American (which was released in 2007) reminds me a lot of driving around in ‘Betty’ (named after a line in the Motion City Soundtrack song The Future Freaks Me Out) or ‘Liam’s Party Bus’ as she was known. I hoped that Jimmy might play some of the bonus tracks from this set at the show. Maybe for the best that they didn’t!

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