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Jimmy Eat World at The Vic Theatre

We’re going to start by addressing the elephant in the room: Yes, Jimmy Eat World covered Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” No, it wasn’t as good as all the videos you’ve been watching on YouTube and the stories you’ve heard from friends in cities other than Chicago.

It was better. [Note: You can listen here if you have no idea what’s going on.] I cannot fucking believe I’m about to put this in writing, but I now officially enjoy a Taylor Swift song… as long as it’s Jimmy Eat World performing it. They don’t just cover the song; they own it. If, somehow, you happen to be luckily enough to never have been subjected to the original version you’d have no idea that it wasn’t a genuine Jimmy Eat World original. The lyrics are a little more Bazooka Joe than what comes out of Adkins pen, but they sell it really well. And that’s kind of the point.

There’s nothing disingenuous about a Jimmy Eat World performance. There’s no ridiculous light show. There are no costume changes. There’s very little talking, but when there is it’s conversational (and amusing). Mostly, it’s approximately one hundred minutes of solid music. New music. Old Music. Classics. They’ll play most, if not all of, Bleed American because they know that’s what people want to hear. They know that they don’t sell out venues to play the album they just released [It’s called Damageread more about it here], but they don’t seem to care too much about pandering to those of us that can’t seem to let go of the emotions associated with an album that was released more than a decade ago when we were all still kids. They’re not the types of guys that are willing to piss off their fans by not playing “The Middle” for the millionth time. When they do play it (last, always last) it’s as energetic as every other part of the show.

Every time they take the stage it’s genuine. Authentic, Made in the US, handcrafted rock music that ages comfortably like good wine or scotch. It’s different listening to it now, but you’re still going to sing it back. If you’re anything like the crowd at The Vic, it’s going to be at the top of your lungs with reckless abandon and no concern about ruining everyone’s Instagram videos [guilty as charged]. Stick around, nostalgia won’t let you down. Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.

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