Jimmy Eat World
Initially and unfairly pigeon-holed into the 'emo' movement, Jimmy Eat World have since toned down the whine and amped up the hooks, most notably on 2002's Bleed American. In the process their popularity was soared, converting fully grown adults that should maybe know better than to be hanging around dark-haired 19-year-old self-harmers. As last minute additions to Soundwave when My Chemical Bromance pulled out in 2010, they more than held their own against Faith No More and Jane's Addiction with a greatest hits set, before returning to the studio to put finishing touches on latest album Invented. While that album does contain great moments (Coffee And Cigarettes, My Best Theory) these are dispensed with quickly and the rest falls victim to their worrying and recently acquired trend of vanilla-ising their sound. Some songs sound more at home rolling over credits on a youth-orientated romantic comedy rather than their rightful home on the soundtrack to a hell of a lot of dorks' lives.
The Jewel And The Falcon opened the show and were ok. Like the lacklustre elements of Jimmy Eat World, they matched their headliners in earnestness but not in energy. Sadly lacking in the rawk until the last song, they expanded on the tried and true G-C-D chord progressions of the other material and finally sped up the tempo.
Regarding Trak as a venue, what a pleasure it is to be in a place where the stage is high enough and the room is designed so you can see from almost any vantage point. (What's not so pleasurable is being in a room full of broad-shouldered, tone-deaf footballers but after all, I guess, we are in Toorak). Bleed American and A Praise Chorus provoke a thrilling start to the show, and the band almost manage to keep the excitement factor going until Invented's Evidence and early dud For Me This Is Heaven rear their ugly, tedious heads. Touring keyboardist, backing vocalist Courtney attempts to get the crowd going around this time with her Australian accent ("The dingo stole my baybee"), but this goes down badly with the true blue attendees, earning only extra points from me for quoting both Meryl Streep and Elaine Benes.
Goodbye Sky Harbour closed the main set and saw frontman Jim Adkins guitarless for the outro, no doubt to facilitate some spastic dancing as he sampled his voice several times, layer over layer, until a final crescendo and disco beat brought it all home. The effect is surprisingly astonishing. Before finishing the night with singalong high points The Middle and Sweetness, I overheard a big fan talking in the requisite break before the encore. He must have seen them on this tour already (or checked out the setlist on the internet) because he remarked to a friend "The next song is Invented. It's terrible, and it's seven minutes." He was spot on.
Liked : Jimmy Eat World. They're such nice guys.
Hated : Meathead fans' out-of-key singalongs.
Drank : Light Beer. Before you ask, I'm not of that persuasion. But I was driving and I'm too pretty to go to prison.